NBA: Nuggets beat Rockets, run winning streak to 4
Jamal Murray scored 26 points, Aaron Gordon had 20, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Houston Rockets 120-100 on Wednesday night.
Bruce Brown scored 18, Nikola Jokic finished with 17 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, and Vlatko Cancar added 13 for Denver, which has won four straight.
Kevin Porter Jr. scored 23 points, Alperen Sengun had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Jalen Green added 16 points, and Jabari Smith Jr. finished with 13 for the Rockets.
It was a three-point Nuggets lead midway through the first quarter when Denver took control. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a 3-pointer, Murray made a layup and Gordon scored four points to put Denver ahead 29-19.
Porter Jr. made a technical free throw but Cancar scored eight points in less than a minute (the last coming on a dunk) before Ish Smith made a layup and then fed DeAndre Jordan for a dunk and a free throw to spark the Nuggets to a 44-24 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Denver continued to dominate in the second quarter. Jordan had a dunk, Brown hit his third 3-pointer of the game, Cancar made a reverse layup off an offensive rebound, and Murray hit a 3 to double up Houston, 56-28, with 7:24 left in the half.
Smith hit a 3-pointer that was quickly answered by Gordon’s 3 — a shot that sparked eight straight points for the Nuggets and a 64-31 lead.
The Rockets responded with an 8-2 run to get the deficit down to 66-39 but two buckets, the second of which was a dunk on Jokic’s 10th assist on a blind pass, made it 70-39.
Denver went to the locker room ahead 74-47, the most points the team has scored in a half this season.
Green hit two 3-pointers and Sengun dunked to spark a 10-3 Houston run to open the third quarter that cut the Nuggets’ lead to 77-57. Denver responded with a quick run to get the lead to 26.
The Rockets got within 19 late in the game but never threatened to make a game of it the rest of the way.