Murray, Jokic carry Nuggets past Thunder
Nikola Jokic had 19 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 126-96 blowout of the host Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.
Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with 26 points, going 9 of 15 from the field.
Denver poured it on from the start, scoring the game’s first 13 points and not looking back, as they swept the season series.
The Nuggets led by as many as 23 points in the first quarter and were up 38-20 by the end of the quarter.
Michael Porter Jr. got Denver going early, scoring 14 in the first, as the Nuggets had 11 first-quarter assists on 14 made buckets.
Denver finished the game shooting 55.1 percent from the field with 30 assists.
Trio of Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr. and Nikola Jokic fuel Denver on the road!
Murray: 26 PTS
Porter Jr.: 20 PTS, 10 REB
Jokic: 19 PTS, 11 REB, 13 AST pic.twitter.com/GLY0q1Q3GY
— NBA (@NBA) February 28, 2021
The game was the first of a four-game road trip before the All-Star break for the Nuggets, who play five consecutive road games overall.
The loss snapped Oklahoma City’s two-game winning streak.
Oklahoma City got the lead down to 11 by midway through the second quarter, with a 16-7 run fueled by their reserves.
But then Denver finished the half with an 18-7 run to regain control for good.
By halftime, Jokic was already closing in on a triple-double, with 10 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
Midway through the third quarter, Jokic finished off his eighth triple-double of the season, second in the league behind Washington’s Russell Westbrook.
Porter finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, Will Barton added 15 and Monte Morris 13.
Darius Bazley scored 22 points to lead Oklahoma City, shooting 8 of 16. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, with 13 points, was the only other Thunder starter to score in double figures.
Oklahoma City’s other three starters — Luguentz Dort, Al Horford and Theo Maledon — were just 4 of 23 from the floor, missing all 13 3-pointers.
The Thunder shot just 23.4 percent from beyond the arc.
PJ Dozier returned for the Nuggets after missing the last 15 games with a hamstring injury he suffered Jan. 25.