NBA: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets next to Suns in First Half

Nikola Jokic NuggetsNBA

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets reacts after a dunk in extra time against the Phoenix Suns at the Ball Arena on December 25, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. Justin Tafoya/Getty Images/AFP

Nikola Jokic had 41 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists, Aaron Gordon added 28 points and 13 rebounds and hosts Denver Nuggets beat the Phoenix Suns 128-125 in extra time on Sunday night.

Jamal Murray scored 26 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 15 points for the Nuggets, who have won four games in a row.

Landry Shamet ended his career with 31 points for Phoenix. Deandre Ayton had 22 points and 16 rebounds, Chris Paul had 17 points and 16 assists, Damion Lee scored 18 and Torrey Craig and Mikal Bridges each had 13 points.

The Suns lost Devin Booker to a groin injury after just 4:20 of the game.

Ayton opened extra time with a 14-foot shot but Denver responded with the next eight points to take a 121-115 lead with 2:30 left. Shamet hit two 3-pointers around one from Caldwell-Pope and Ayton sank a reversal to make it 124-123 with 1:02 remaining.

Shamet missed from the deep and fouled Gordon on his seventh pitch of the day. Gordon failed to take the free throw but was fouled after taking the throw-in and taking one of the two free kicks.

Paul made a jump, Murray made a pair of free throws, Shamet missed another 3-pointer and the Nuggets closed.

Denver led 15 early but the Suns rallied to take a 57-51 lead after halftime. Phoenix took a 12-point lead in the third inning and an 84-81 lead in the fourth.

The Suns took an eight-man lead midway through the final half, but Murray revived the Nuggets to a 108-107 lead with 3:08 left.

Paul makes the 15-footer, Michael Porter Jr. took one of two free throws to equalize and Shamet took a 3-point corner to give Phoenix a 2:16 lead. Jokic’s header made it 112-111 with 1:17 remaining, and Murray missed the 3-point effort that should have put the Nuggets ahead.

Paul missed a jump with 32 seconds left, Murray made a mistake at 21 feet and Ayton made a pair of free throws to make it 113-111 with 15 seconds left. After a short wait, Murray hit a drive-thru hit to equalize again with 11 seconds left and send the game into extra time.


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