DENVER (AP)Jamal Murray hit a go-ahead floater with 55.9 seconds remaining, Nikola Jokic broke Denver’s record for assists on the way to his 14th triple-double of the season, and the Nuggets rallied for a 122-118 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
Murray scored seven of his 28 points in the fourth quarter to help the Nuggets win their 15th straight at home.
Jokic finished with 31 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as he navigated foul trouble. The two-time reigning NBA MVP passed Alex English for the most assists in team history. Jokic has 3,686 career assists in 568 games – English recorded 3,679 over 837 games in a Denver uniform.
With the Nuggets trailing 118-115, Murray hit a 3-pointer with 2:05 remaining to tie the game and then a driving layup to give Denver a lead it didn’t relinquish.
Bruce Brown finished with 16 points for a Denver team playing the second game of a back-to-back. Nuggets coach Michael Malone remained in the NBA’s health and safety protocol for a second straight game. David Adelman filled in as acting head coach.
Jaden McDaniels led seven Minnesota players in double figures with 18 points.
It was an eventful first quarter for Jokic, who had a basket taken away on review (shot-clock violation) and an offensive foul rescinded courtesy of a challenge. He still had 13 points in the period and five assists, including a full-length pass to Brown for a dunk.
”He has a John Stockton kind of mind in a 7-foot body,” Adelman said.
Timberwolves: F Kyle Anderson finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. … C Naz Reid had 17 points as he made his fifth start of the season with Rudy Gobert sidelined by a sore groin. … G Austin Rivers (bruised knee) was inactive.
Nuggets: F Jeff Green (broken hand) has started playing 1-on-1 and is ”trending the right way,” Adelman said.
Nuggets veteran guard Ish Smith played for coach Rick Adelman when he was a rookie with Houston in 2010.
Now, he’s a reserve on the bench for Adelman’s son.
”Small world,” Smith cracked. ”I always tell (David), `You’ll be a head coach soon.’ This is a great audition for him. Guys are playing hard.”
Timberwolves coach Chris Finch appreciates the easygoing demeanor of Tim Connelly, the president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves. Connelly had a similar role with Denver – and helped build the team to where it is today – before leaving last spring.
”He’s always telling me to have fun, which is simple but hard to sometimes maintain,” Finch said. ”He’s always really positive.”
Timberwolves: Host Toronto on Thursday night.
Nuggets: Host Indiana on Friday night.
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