NBA regular season

Nuggets down Suns, spoil Kevin Durant’s milestone night


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Nuggets down Suns, spoil Kevin Durant’s milestone night

SUPERSTARS. Suns forward Kevin Durant (left) and Nuggets center Nikola Jokic in NBA action.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS

Kevin Durant moves into the top 10 on the NBA's all-time scoring list, but Nikola Jokic still makes sure to propel the Nuggets past the Suns

Nikola Jokic recorded 21 points and 16 assists to help the Denver Nuggets notch a 119-111 victory over the host Phoenix Suns on Friday night, December 1 (Saturday, December 2, Manila time).

Reggie Jackson added 20 points and Michael Porter Jr. had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Denver, which earned its fourth win in a row. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Justin Holiday scored 15 points apiece and Julian Strawther had 11 for the Nuggets.

Phoenix’s Kevin Durant had 30 points, 11 assists, and 3 blocked shots and moved into the top 10 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He posted his seventh straight 30-point outing but missed all 10 of his second-half field-goal attempts to finish 8-of-25 from the field.

Jusuf Nurkic scored a season-best 31 points for the Suns, who were without Devin Booker (sprained right ankle). Booker was hurt in the Suns’ Wednesday loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Denver star Jamal Murray (sprained right ankle) sat out for the 12th time in the past 13 games. He missed 11 in a row with a hamstring injury before hurting his ankle in the Nuggets’ Wednesday victory over the Houston Rockets. 

Aaron Gordon (right heel) missed his fourth straight game for the Nuggets.

Durant passed Hall of Famer Moses Malone (27,409) in the second quarter to move into 10th place in career scoring. Durant’s total sits at 27,423 points.

Denver shot 56.8% from the field, including 12-of-32 (37.5 percent) from three-point range.

Eric Gordon scored 16 points for the Suns, who connected on 46.4% of their shots and made 9-of-27 (33.3%) from behind the arc. Grayson Allen added 13 points and 9 rebounds, and Josh Okogie also scored 13 points.

Durant made two free throws with 3:20 left to bring Phoenix within one. However, Porter hit a jumper and Caldwell-Pope buried a three-pointer to give Denver a 114-108 lead with 2:33 remaining.

The Suns trailed by three when Nurkic made a move inside and was called for an offensive foul due to his elbow hitting Jokic in the face with 45 seconds left. The foul was upgraded to a flagrant 1, giving the Nuggets two free throws (Jokic made one) and the ball.

On the subsequent possession, Jokic drove through the lane to score with 24.1 seconds left to give Denver a 117-111 lead. Porter finished it off with two free throws with 5.2 seconds left.

The Nuggets shot 67.4% from the field in the first half and held a 70-63 lead at the break. Jackson led Denver with 14 points before intermission, while Durant poured in 22 for the Suns. –

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