DENVER — Nikola Jokic had 32 points and 12 rebounds, Jamal Murray scored a season-high 31 and the Denver Nuggets defeated the Houston Rockets 129-113 on Monday night.
The win was the Nuggets’ third in a row following a home loss last Tuesday against lowly Detroit.
Jokic and Murray combined to shoot 64.7% from the field. It marked the third time in the past four games Jokic scored more than 30 points. He finished two assists shy of his fourth triple-double this season.
Murray, one of the NBA's best outside shooters, was 11 of 17 from the floor and drained four of his eight 3-pointers after knocking down just 12 of 33 field goal attempts in two games since returning from health and safety protocols last Tuesday.
The Nuggets outscored Houston 62-42 in the paint. Zeke Nnaji matched a season high with 15 points off the bench.
Alperen Sengun led five Rockets in double figures with 18 points.
Houston (5-15) has the worst record in the Western Conference, but had won three of its previous five games.
Murray's 3 with 4:33 remaining in the third quarter stretched the Nuggets’ lead to 96-84 and capped a 15-4 run. After the Rockets got within seven, Denver scored the final eight points of the period, finished off by Nnaji's 3 at the buzzer.
The Nuggets’ lead grew to 20 in the fourth quarter.
Nuggets: G Bones Hyland missed his third consecutive game with a non-COVID-19 illness. Hyland, a first-round draft pick in his second year with the team, is averaging 15 points per game this season. … F Michael Porter Jr. didn’t play as he continues to deal with a bruised left heel. It was the third straight game he missed. Denver coach Micahel Malone said Porter “will come back when he’s ready.” Porter is averaging 16.4 points, tied for the third-highest mark on the team.
Rockets: G Jalen Green had 17 points and a team-high seven assists. … With his father, former Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin, in attendance, F Kenyon Martin Jr. had 15 points.
The teams play in Denver again Wednesday night.
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