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Nuggets Down Bulls in OT Thriller
The Denver Nuggets improved their record to 6-1 with a thrilling 108-107 overtime victory on the road against the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night.
Down a point, Nuggets center Nikola Jokić missed a jumper with .8 seconds remaining, but power forward Paul Millsap banked in a two-handed putback with .1 seconds to lift Denver to its second win away from Pepsi Center on the season.
Millsap finished with a season-high 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting to go along with six rebounds and three blocks. Jokić was flat-out brilliant, scoring eight of his team-best 22 points in overtime. He also came up an assist shy of a triple-double with nine dimes, 12 rebounds and three blocks.
“Paul gets one offensive rebound tonight, but he makes it a really important offensive rebound and he gets the putback,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone.
Malone said the thing he was most proud of was that his team never panicked even when it was trailing late.
The Nuggets squandered an eight-point second-quarter lead early in the third but closed out the quarter on a 7-2 run to take a narrow two-point advantage into the fourth.
After falling behind as many as six in the final 12 minutes, the Nuggets tied the game at 98 on a jumper from third-year pro Malik Beasley. Beasley, a Florida State product, had a chance to score what would’ve been the go-ahead bucket with less than six seconds remaining in regulation but lost an inbounds pass off his fingertips as the game went into overtime tied at 98.
“I reminded our guys, ‘Opening Night in L.A., we were down six or eight (in the fourth quarter) and we never panicked,” Malone said. “I said tonight we’re not gonna panic either. We’re gonna execute. We’re gonna get baskets on one end and we’re gonna get stops on the other and we’re gonna win the game.”
Nuggets shooting guard Gary Harris had 16 points, five rebound and two assists. Big man Mason Plumlee added 13 rebounds while pulling down four boards. Point guard Jamal Murray scored a dozen while playing a game-high 44 minutes and Trey Lyles almost had a double-double-double with nine point and 10 rebounds off the bench.
Denver blocked 10 shots and came away with seven steals while outrebounding Chicago 56-43.
The Bulls (2-6) were led by Zach LaVine’s 28 points. Rookie Wendell Carter Jr. added 25 and Antonio Blakeney scored 15 in a losing effort.
The Nuggets face the Cleveland Cavaliers at 5 p.m. MT Thursday. That game will be aired live on Altitude TV and streamed on AltitudeNOW.