The Denver Nuggets needed to come out strong, and they did just that with a 13-0 run to start the game over the first 2:44 of the game. The Oklahoma City Thunder got some points out of the timeout, but the Nuggets weren’t stopping, as they had built a 21-4 lead with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter. Over the next two minutes, OKC went on a 7-0 run which prompted a Michael Malone timeout. The Thunder steadily chipped away at the Nuggets’ lead as the quarter wore one before the two sides traded baskets to end the period. Denver went into the second quarter leading 42-29 due in large part to the 10-of-13 they shot from 3-point range.

The second quarter was a lot more back and forth than what we saw in the first with the two sides trading runs throughout. After going on an 11-0 run, the Nuggets answered with a run of their own to keep the Thunder at bay largely led by Aaron Gordon, who was up to 23 points near the end of the first half. Denver would just barely win the quarter 29-28 and head into the half leading 71-57.

Unfortunately for Denver, they didn’t come out ready to play in the second half as they got outscored 6-0 to start the half in the first two minutes of the third quarter. Things steadily went from bad to worse, and the Thunder eventually got within two midway through the period. After trailing the entire game, the Thunder finally tied the game up with 1:25 remaining in the third quarter at 91 before taking the lead following a Denver turnover. Some late-quarter heroics by Jamal Murray had him fired up and tied the game at 95 heading into the final period.

To start the fourth quarter, Murray was clearly tired, but he was on a mission to drag the unit on the floor toward a lead. The only problem is they couldn’t get a stop as the Thunder were matching them point for point. A hustle play from Michael Porter Jr. resulted in a technical foul for OKC, and that led to a brief run for Denver. That brief run continued with Denver slowly stretching their lead as the fourth quarter wore on. The lead ballooned to 12 prior to a Lugentz Dort triple to bring OKC within nine. Denver was outscored by 16 in the third quarter, but they were able to outlast the Thunder late in the game to win 122-110.

Stat Leaders

Points: Aaron Gordon – 27

Assists: Nikola Jokic – 13

Rebounds: Jokic – 13

Player of the Game: Jamal Murray – 24 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 8-of-19 field goal, 4-of-6 3-point, 4-of-4 free throw