PHOENIX (AP)Jamal Murray had 28 points, including a tiebreaking jumper with 3.2 seconds left, Nikola Jokic finished with a triple-double and the Denver Nuggets rallied for a 113-111 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Monday night.
The Nuggets extended their winning streak to seven games while the Suns have lost seven in row.
The teams traded clutch shots in the final moments. First it was Murray who hit a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to push Denver ahead 111-108. Two seconds later, Devin Booker nailed a 3-pointer off an inbounds play to tie it.
Murray had one more big shot in him, making a jumper just inside the 3-point line to give the Nuggets a 113-111 lead. Booker had a 3-point attempt blocked by Jerami Grant just before the final buzzer.
Jokic had 22 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his seventh triple-double this season.
The Suns trailed for most of the night, falling behind by 16 points in the second quarter, but slowly fought their way back.
The Nuggets hit 12 of their first 17 3-point attempts but finally cooled off midway through the third quarter and missed their next seven from long range. That allowed Phoenix to make a push and Frank Kaminsky’s short jumper early in the fourth quarter gave the Suns an 83-82 lead, their first since the first quarter.
Rookie Cameron Johnson hit two 3-pointers in a row – one on a bank shot – to put the Suns ahead 91-88 with about 9 minutes left in the game. Phoenix pushed that advantage to 101-92 but Denver rallied to tie it at 108 with 2 minutes left on Jokic’s 3-pointer.
Ricky Rubio scored 21 points for the Suns. Eight Phoenix players scored in double figures, but it wasn’t enough to snap its lengthy losing streak.
Denver jumped out to a 34-22 by the end of the first quarter after shooting 67 percent from the field but the Suns were able to cut the deficit to 56-49 by halftime.
Murray had 10 points in the first half. Rubio had 16 before the break on 7-of-10 shooting from the field.
Nuggets: Denver was playing its third game in four days. … The Nuggets hit 10 of 15 3-pointers in the first half.
Suns: Starting center Deandre Ayton missed a third straight game because of a sprained ankle. He’s played in just two out of the team’s first 30 games. … Rubio returned to the starting lineup after missing Saturday’s game against the Rockets because of an illness.
Nuggets: Host the Pelicans on Wednesday.
Suns: Travel to face Golden State on Friday.
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