Jamal Murray scores 24 as Nuggets overtake Raptors

Jamal Murray scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half, Nikola Jokic had 17 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists and the host Denver Nuggets rallied past the Toronto Raptors 118-113 on Monday night.

Toronto led by six points before getting outscored 15-4 in the final three minutes.

Michael Porter Jr. scored 20 points, Aaron Gordon added 19 points and Reggie Jackson finished with 13 for Denver, which has won eight of its past nine games overall and eight straight at home.

Fred VanVleet had 21 points and 14 assists, Pascal Siakam scored 19 and Jakob Poeltl added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors, who have alternated wins and losses for six games.

Toronto’s Gary Trent Jr. had 13 points, O.G. Anunoby scored 12 and Scottie Barnes finished with 12 points and nine boards.

The Raptors led 92-85 after Trent’s 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, but a 3-pointer by Jackson and a three-point play from Bruce Brown got the Nuggets within one.

Toronto answered with seven straight points to lead 99-91. Porter split a pair of free throws with 4:41 left to get Denver within 105-101.

Siakam sank a jumper to make it 111-105, but Murray hit a 3-pointer and a driving layup to cut the deficit to one with 1:32 left. Jokic made four free throws around two by VanVleet to put Denver ahead 114-113 with 54.4 seconds left.

After the Nuggets successfully challenged a foul call on Jokic, Poeltl fouled Gordon and Barnes was hit with a technical with 28.1 seconds to go. Murray made the technical free throw, Gordon sank both foul shots and Denver closed it out.

Toronto went ahead by four on an Anunoby 3-pointer early in the third quarter before the Nuggets began to rally behind Murray. He hit a turnaround jumper, made a reverse layup and drained a 3-pointer to tie the game at 67.

The Raptors used a 19-11 run at the end of the third to take an 88-83 lead into the fourth.

Toronto led by as many as 10 late in the second quarter, but Denver rallied to get within 61-58 at intermission.

–Field Level Media

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Author: Sportsnaut

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