PHOENIX (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored 31 points, Gary Harris added 19 and the Denver Nuggets rallied to force overtime before beating the Phoenix Suns 130-126 on Friday night.
Will Barton pushed the Nuggets ahead 124-123 with 1:37 left in overtime on a driving layup and Jamal Murray’s 13-foot jumper put them up three points with 28.5 seconds left. Denver held on from that point, winning for the third time in four games to improve to 8-7 this season.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 31 points but took a hard fall late in overtime and didn’t play the final few possessions. Phoenix’s offense looked out of synch without its leading scorer on the floor and didn’t score a field goal after he left.
Suns forward Deandre Ayton had 27 points and 13 rebounds. Mikal Bridges added 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Denver shot nearly 52% from the field and six players scored in double figures. Jokic added 10 rebounds and eight assists.
The Suns had a 14-point lead at halftime but Denver sliced that deficit to 95-91 by the end of the third quarter. The Nuggets took their first lead since the opening minute when PJ Dozier made a driving layup with 8:33 left that made it 98-97.
Jokic made a lay-up in the lane to tie the game at 114 with about a 1:07 left in regulation. Both teams had a couple chances to push ahead in the final minute but shots wouldn’t fall.
The Suns jumped out to a 68-54 lead at halftime. Booker had 19 points and Bridges added 17 after hitting all five of his 3-pointers. Chris Paul had 14 assists, which tied a franchise record for the most in a half. Jokic led the Nuggets with 16 points.
Nuggets: F Michael Porter Jr. played for the first time since Dec. 29 after missing 10 games while in the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. He finished with seven points and six rebounds in 20 minutes.
Suns: F/C Damian Jones and F Dario Saric both missed the game because of the league’s health and safety protocols … The Suns were playing their third game after having three straight games postponed because of COVID-19 issues. It was the first home game for the Suns since Jan. 6. … Abdel Nader added nine points off the bench. He was part of the trade with Oklahoma City that brought Paul to Phoenix.