DENVER | Jamal Murray scored 16 of his 24 points in a decisive third-quarter spurt, big man Nikola Jokic added 16 rebounds and 10 assists to narrowly miss a triple-double and the Denver Nuggets beat the Toronto Raptors 129-111 on Wednesday night.
Paul Millsap added 20 points in his best offensive output since joining Denver. He signed a three-year, $90 million deal with Denver in July, but has recently struggled with his jumper.Murray erupted in the third to help turn a 60-51 lead into a 36-point advantage over a matter of minutes.
The 43 points in the third was the biggest quarter for the Nuggets this season.Jokic finished with eight points and didn’t play over the final 7:41. Denver connected on 16 3-pointers and outrebounded the Raptors by a 43-38 margin to kick off a six-game homestand.
Norman Powell led the Raptors with 14 points as they made their fifth stop on a season-long six-game road swing.
Murray was briefly checked out by trainers in the first quarter after flying into the court-side seats while trying to steal a pass. He landed about three rows back and in the vicinity of Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene.
In the process, Murray also spilled a beverage and had to make a quick trip into the locker room to change jerseys.
Raptors: Delon Wright had 12 points off the bench. … Kyle Lowry had nine points.
Nuggets: F Juancho Hernangomez missed a sixth straight game with what was diagnosed as mononucleosis. “He has not been cleared to play or do any contact. I do not anticipate him being back for a few weeks,” coach Michael Malone said. …. Broncos LB Von Miller showed up wearing an Avalanche hockey sweater bearing his No. 58.
Malone called DeMar DeRozan the “king of the mid-range jumper.” DeRozan hit 4 of 10 shots to finish with 10 points.
“DeMar does it in a different way,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “He still gets to the free throw line. He gets a three the old-fashioned way.”
Casey said Jokic’s game reminds him of Dallas standout Dirk Nowitzki.
“As far as his range and size, the way he gets the ball up on his shot. You can’t get to it,” Casey said. “You have to have extraordinary reach to get to his shot. They do some special things to try to create space for him.”
Raptors: At Utah on Friday. Currently 2-3 on their trip.
Nuggets: Host Miami on Friday and Golden State on Saturday in a home back-to-back.