MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jamal Murray scored a season-high 36 points, Nikola Jokic had 19 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists for is fourth triple-double of the season and the Denver Nuggets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-109 on Sunday night.
Murray kept Denver afloat while Jokic dealt with early foul trouble for the second straight game. Murray scored 26 points in the first half, including 16 in the second quarter. Jokic then helped the Nuggets overcome a Minnesota lead at the start of the fourth to pull away and snap a two-game losing skid.
Malik Beasley, the former Denver draft pick traded to the Timberwolves last season, scored a season-high 25 for Minnesota. It lost its fourth straight game without Karl-Anthony Towns, who is out with a left wrist dislocation.
The teams will complete home-and home set Tuesday night in Denver.
D’Angelo Russell finished with 18 points and seven assists for the Wolves.
Russell keyed a third-quarter comeback for Minnesota, which led 84-83 before the start of the fourth. Russell had 10 points and six assists in the third, while Beasley had 11 and Jarrett Culver added 10 in the quarter as the Wolves’ offense finally found some rhythm without Towns.
With Jokic and Murray together, Denver took control with a 20-2 run in the fourth and didn’t look back. The Nuggets outscored Minnesota 41-25 in the quarter, while Jokic had seven points and three assists.
The Wolves allowed at least 120 points for the fourth straight game, and surrendered at least 40 points in a quarter for the second straight game.
Nuggets: Michael Porter Jr. missed his second straight game as part of the league’s health and safety protocols for COVID-19. … Denver hit a season-high 19 3-pointers, going 19 of 45 from beyond the arc. Facundo Campazzo was 5 of 7 from 3. Paul Millsap had four 3s and JaMychal Green had three. … Murray had his fourth straight game with at least 20 points.
Timberwolves: With coach Ryan Saunders moving Ed Davis and Juancho Hernangómez into the starting lineup, Minnesota had its fifth different starting group in six games this season. … Josh Okogie missed his third straight game with a left hamstring strain. … Culver finished with a season-high 20 points.
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