NBA: Nuggets hold off visiting Pistons

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2019 12:11 PM

Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris (14) shoots against Detroit Pistons forward Thon Maker (left) in the first quarter at the Pepsi Center. Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS

Jamal Murray scored 33 points and the host Denver Nuggets built a 27-point halftime lead, then withstood a furious Detroit Pistons rally to claim a 95-92 victory on Tuesday.

Nikola Jokic had 23 points and 15 rebounds for the Nuggets, who were outscored 53-29 in the second half.

Blake Griffin had 29 points, 15 rebounds and five assists but missed a potential tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds. Reggie Jackson added 17 points and Andre Drummond contributed 13 points and 18 rebounds.

Detroit's early offensive ineptitude allowed Denver to establish a 27-9 lead. The Pistons shot 4-for-29 (14.3 percent) from the field and missed all eight of its 3-point attempts.

Mason Plumlee's lob dunk to open the second quarter gave Denver a 20-point advantage. The Pistons showed some signs of life to close the gap to 10, 44-34. 

But Detroit only scored five points in the final five minutes of the half as Denver established a 66-39 halftime advantage.

Jokic got that 22-5 run started with a stepback jumper. Murray scored 10 points during that stretch.

Griffin overthrew the subsequent inbounds in the final second of the half, giving Denver another chance to score. Jokic did just that as he drained a high-arcing 15-footer off Murray's inbounds feed.

The Pistons came within 15 late in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Luke Kennard, which completed a 10-2 spurt. Denver pushed the lead up to 19, 81-62, before the quarter ended.

Detroit cut the deficit to 15 again early in the fourth. A Jackson 3-pointer pulled Detroit within 12 midway through the quarter. When Drummond scored with 5:05 left, Denver's lead was in single digits, 87-78.

Jackson scored with two minutes left to make it a five-point game. A Wayne Ellington three cut the Nuggets' lead to two. After the teams traded baskets, Murray hit a baseline shot to give Denver a 93-89 advantage with 16 seconds left.

Jackson made a corner 3-pointer to cut Denver's lead to one. Murray hit two free throws with 9.1 seconds left. Griffin then missed a corner three on Detroit's last possession.

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