Nikola Jokic had 32 points and 16 rebounds, Monte Morris scored 13 points, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the San Antonio Spurs 102-96 on Friday night.
Will Barton scored 12 points and JaMychal Green had 10 points off the bench for Denver, which won its home opener.
Keldon Johnson led San Antonio with 27 points. Derrick White added 16 and Jakob Poeltl and Dejounte Murray scored 15 points each for the Spurs.
The Nuggets led by 11 after Green’s dunk opened the fourth quarter, but San Antonio chipped away. Johnson hit two jumpers and Poeltl had a dunk and a layup to pull the Spurs within 83-78.
After a timeout, Denver had two empty possessions while White hit two free throws and Poeltl made another layup to make it a one-point game.
San Antonio missed a 3-pointer that would have given it the lead and Facu Campazzo broke the Nuggets’ drought with a layup. That started an 11-3 run capped by Michael Porter Jr.’s 3-pointer with 4:05 left.
Jokic’s 13-foot turnaround jumper with 1:32 left made it 100-93, but White answered with a 3-pointer to get the Spurs within four. Morris hit a jumper that sealed it.
Denver scored the first basket of the third quarter, but San Antonio quickly responded. Poeltl dunked off a White miss, Johnson hit a pull-up jumper after Porter missed and Murray turned two Nuggets turnovers into a layup and a 3-pointer to give the Spurs a 59-55 lead.
Denver responded with a 12-5 run, highlighted by Jokic grabbing a defensive rebound and going coast-to-coast for a layup that tied the game.
The Nuggets increased the lead to 10 on a 3-pointer by Jokic and his pass to Campazzo for a layup, and took a 79-70 advantage into the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets led 53-50 at the break but had 11 turnovers in the first half, which kept San Antonio close. Jokic had 13 points to lead Denver and Johnson paced San Antonio with 18 in the first two quarters.
–Field Level Media