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Jamal Murray scored a season-high 37 points, Nikola Jokic finished with 16 assists, and the host Denver Nuggets rebounded from a disappointing loss to beat the struggling Detroit Pistons, 131-114, on Sunday, January 7 (Monday, January 8, Manila time).
Denver blew an 18-point lead over the Orlando Magic on Friday but bounced back to win its ninth in 11 games.
Detroit lost star guard Cade Cunningham to a left knee strain in the second quarter and dropped its 18th straight road game. The Pistons have lost 32 of 33 overall.
Jokic scored just 4 points on three shots but had five blocks. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Porter Jr. scored 18 points each, Peyton Watson contributed 15 points, and Reggie Jackson had 13 points and 9 assists for the Nuggets.
Jalen Duren led the Pistons with 20 points, Alec Burks had 18 points, Bojan Bogdanovic added 14 points, Jaden Ivy scored 13, Kevin Knox II contributed 12 points, and Isaiah Livers had 11.
Detroit led by 4 in the second quarter, but Murray had 24 points in the first half to give the Nuggets a 65-57 lead at the break.
Murray scored the Nuggets’ first 4 points of the second half and Jokic fed Caldwell-Pope for a dunk that increased Denver’s lead to 71-58.
The Nuggets continued to build the lead on Jokic’s passing. He fed Aaron Gordon for a dunk and a foul and found Murray for a 25-foot three-pointer during a stretch when he assisted on eight straight Denver baskets. He capped the flurry when he connected with Watson on an alley-oop that made it 90-73.
The Nuggets had a 15-point lead when they added to their advantage in the final three minutes of the third quarter. Christian Braun hit a layup, Watson made a free throw and a three-pointer to make it 98-79, DeAndre Jordan converted a three-point play off a dunk, and Watson finished the run with a three-pointer to make it 108-85 heading into the fourth.
The Pistons got no closer than 15 the rest of the way. – Rappler.com