NBA regular season

Nuggets stun Blazers with last-second trey

Reuters
Nuggets stun Blazers with last-second trey

CLUTCH. Jamal Murray takes over for the Nuggets in the final quarter.

Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Jamal Murray plays hero, knocking in the clutch triple to lift the Nuggets to a one-point escape over the Trail Blazers

Jamal Murray drained a three-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining to lift the Denver Nuggets to a 121-120 victory over the host Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night, December 8 (Friday, December 9, Manila time).

Nikola Jokic recorded 33 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists, and Murray scored 14 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter as Denver halted its season-worst three-game slide. Aaron Gordon added 20 points for the Nuggets.

Damian Lillard scored 40 points, matched his season-best of 12 assists, and made a season-high 9 three-pointers for the Trail Blazers. Jusuf Nurkic added 21 points and 9 rebounds and Jerami Grant had 18 points for Portland.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope buried a three-pointer to give Denver a 114-112 lead with 1:53 left. Lillard answered with a 31-foot, three-pointer 20 seconds later to put Portland back on top before Murray knocked down a mid-range jumper to give the Nuggets a 116-115 advantage.

Anfernee Simons answered with a jumper from just inside the free throw line to give the Trail Blazers a one-point edge with 28.1 seconds to play. Gordon tipped in Jokic’s miss with 17.1 seconds left as Denver moved ahead 118-117 before Lillard nailed three-pointer No. 9 with 9.1 seconds to play.

Murray then buried his big trey and the Trail Blazers came up empty when Caldwell-Pope broke up a pass toward the basket.

Bones Hyland added 13 points off the bench and Bruce Brown tallied 10 for the Nuggets, who connected on 51.6% of their shots and were 12-of-30 from behind the arc.

Josh Hart had 12 points for Portland, which made 48.4% of its field-goal attempts, including 16-of-40 from three-point range.

Lillard drained 5 three-pointers during his 18-point third quarter as Portland grew a one-point halftime lead into a 99-89 advantage.

Lillard’s third three-pointer of the period gave Portland an 86-78 edge with 4:59 remaining.

The Nuggets were within 5 points after Jokic’s putback with 2:56 remaining before Lillard made 2 more three-pointers in a 33-second span to make it 94-83 with 2:10 left.

With Lillard resting to start the fourth quarter, Denver took advantage with a 14-5 push. Hyland and Murray knocked down three-pointers to bring the Nuggets within 104-103 with 7:09 left, prompting Portland coach Chauncey Billups to call timeout and insert Lillard back into the game.

Jokic hit a 15-footer with 6:33 remaining as Denver moved ahead by one and the lead rotated back and forth over the rest of the contest.

Portland led 64-63 at halftime despite Jokic pouring in 20 points for the Nuggets. – Rappler.com

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