DENVER — Nikola Jokic tied Wilt Chamberlain for sixth all-time with his 78th triple-double and Jamal Murray scored 16 points in his first game at Ball Arena in more than 18 months as the Denver Nuggets outlasted the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-117 Saturday night.
Murray sank a pair of free throws with 9.7 seconds left to put the Nuggets ahead by four and Jokic capped the scoring by sinking one of two foul shots with 2.5 seconds remaining.
Jokic scored 19 points, pulled down 16 rebounds and dished out 13 assists. Michael Porter Jr. added 22 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope chipped in 21 points on the strength of six 3-pointers, one more than Porter.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 28 points and Josh Giddey had 19 points and 12 boards.
Murray, who tore his left ACL on April 12, 2021, sat out Denver's big win at Golden State on Friday night in San Francisco because the Nuggets don't want him playing back-to-back nights early on. He had 12 points, two rebounds and two steals in 26 minutes in the Nuggets' season-opening loss at Utah on Wednesday night.
Murray had a scary moment in the second quarter when he tumbled at midcourt after a foul by Luguentz Dort. Murray shook it off and a minute later had a spin move followed by a fadeaway jumper.
The Nuggets don't have another back-to-back set until late November.
Thunder: Oklahoma City plays five of its next six games at home. ... The Thunder was without rookie G Jalen Williams, the 12th overall pick in the draft, who underwent surgery after fracturing his right orbital bone in the opener at Minnesota.
Nuggets: The Broncos' low-key celebration of Jokic's second straight MVP award consisted of a short video during the first timeout. Jokic was ejected from a playoff game when the Nuggets celebrated his first MVP trophy in 2021. He was already back in Serbia when he won his second Maurice Podoloff Trophy last summer.
Thunder: Returns to Oklahoma City for home opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.
Nuggets: Get a brief reprieve after playing three games in four nights. Their next game is Monday night at Portland.
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