Jamal Murray's season-high 41 paces Nuggets in third straight win

Mike Singer, The Denver Post on

Published in Basketball

DENVER — Nikola Jokic has made so many pretty passes that by the end of Saturday night, he didn’t need to look.

He swung a no-look dime to Aaron Gordon midway through the fourth quarter to notch his NBA-leading 18th triple-double, and the Nuggets won, again, this time knocking off the visiting Atlanta Hawks, 128-108 for their third win in a row. Denver improved to 37-16 on the season and 18-0 in games where Jokic registers a triple-double.

But despite another efficient triple-double, Jokic’s counterpart, Jamal Murray, turned Ball Arena into his own personal practice court. Murray reeled off a season-high 41 points, capping his outlandish showing with an emphatic dunk off a Nuggets steal.

“An aggressive Jamal, a confident Jamal, is a scary Jamal,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

Murray drained seven 3-pointers, bobbing his head and beckoning to the crowd as the number rose higher and higher. It was Murray’s third consecutive game with at least 30 points.

Michael Porter Jr. added 23 points, and the Nuggets got a comfortable win with a back-to-back scheduled for Minnesota on Sunday.


Jokic ended the night with 14 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists in 34 minutes of work. As a team, Denver dished 32 assists to just 13 turnovers.

Without Trae Young, Dejounte Murray paced the Hawks with 28 points. Denver’s 15 3-pointers were overwhelming.

Once again, Nuggets guard Bones Hyland didn’t get in the game. He was active and engaged on the team’s bench, though his name continued to be mentioned in trade rumors ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope rolled his right ankle early in the contest after landing on a defender’s foot. Although he momentarily returned to the game, Caldwell-Pope was in street clothes for the second half.


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