NBA regular season

Nuggets coast against Thunder to stay perfect


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Nuggets coast against Thunder to stay perfect

JOKER. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) reacts after a play in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Ball Arena.

Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Nikola Jokic produces a 28-14 double-double and gets sufficient help from Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray as the Nuggets improve to 3-0

Nikola Jokic scored 28 points with 14 rebounds and 5 assists as the Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 128-95, in Oklahoma City on Sunday, October 29 (Monday, October 30, Manila time).

Michael Porter Jr. added 20 points, Jamal Murray 19, and Peyton Watson a career-high 17 off the bench for the Nuggets.

The win was the third consecutive for the defending champions to start the season and Denver’s fourth consecutive win in Oklahoma City.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone had said in recent days that his team needed to find a consistency they hadn’t always shown in their first two games.

They found it against the Thunder.

The Nuggets outrebounded Oklahoma City 52-41. Denver also had 34 assists on 53 field goals.

Denver shot 60.2% from the floor, including 11 of 27 (40.7%) from beyond the arc.

Denver dominated the boards from the beginning, outrebounding the Thunder 19-9 in the first quarter as it built a lead as big as 12 and scored eight second-chance points in the first.

Just more than two minutes in, Denver took the lead for good.

Oklahoma City crept within 6 points in the second quarter before the Nuggets closed the half with a 22-10 run to lead 69-51 at the break.

While Denver kept things moving offensively, the Thunder struggled in their home opener.

Oklahoma City couldn’t keep up with the Nuggets defensively and the issues crept into the offensive end as well.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was just 2 of 16 from the floor, finishing with 7 points, his lowest scoring total since December 2019.

Rookie Chet Holmgren led the Thunder with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He didn’t have any blocks after setting a franchise rookie record with 7 swats in Friday’s win in Cleveland.

Gilgeous-Alexander was 0 for 4 on three-pointers, as Oklahoma City finished just 6 of 32 (18.8%) from beyond the arc.

Jalen Williams added 13 points and Tre Mann had 12 off the bench for the Thunder.

Watson was 8 of 11 from the floor. –

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