Jamal Murray drained a 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining to lift the Denver Nuggets to a 121-120 victory over the host Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night.
Nikola Jokic recorded 33 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and Murray scored 14 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter as Denver halted its season-worst three-game slide. Aaron Gordon added 20 points for the Nuggets.
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Damian Lillard scored 40 points, matched his season best of 12 assists and made a season-high nine 3-pointers for the Trail Blazers. Jusuf Nurkic added 21 points and nine rebounds and Jerami Grant had 18 points for Portland.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope buried a 3-pointer to give Denver a 114-112 lead with 1:53 left. Lillard answered with a 31-foot, 3-pointer 20 seconds later to put Portland back on top before Murray knocked down a mid-range jumper to give the Nuggets a 116-115 advantage.
Anfernee Simons answered with a jumper from just inside the free-throw line to give the Trail Blazers a one-point edge with 28.1 seconds to play. Gordon tipped in Jokic’s miss with 17.1 seconds left as Denver moved ahead 118-117 before Lillard nailed 3-pointer No. 9 with 9.1 seconds to play.
Murray then buried his big trey and the Trail Blazers came up empty when Caldwell-Pope broke up a pass toward the basket.
Bones Hyland added 13 points off the bench and Bruce Brown tallied 10 for the Nuggets, who connected on 51.6 percent of their shots and were 12 of 30 from behind the arc.
Josh Hart had 12 points for Portland, which made 48.4 percent of its field-goal attempts, including 16 of 40 from 3-point range.
Lillard drained five 3-pointers during his 18-point third quarter as Portland grew a one-point halftime lead into a 99-89 advantage.
The Nuggets were within five after Jokic’s putback with 2:56 remaining before Lillard made two more 3-pointers in a 33-second span to make it 94-83 with 2:10 left.
With Lillard resting to start the fourth quarter, Denver took advantage with a 14-5 push. Hyland and Murray knocked down 3-pointers to bring the Nuggets within 104-103 with 7:09 left, prompting Portland coach Chauncey Billups to call timeout and insert Lillard back into the game.
Jokic hit a 15-footer with 6:33 remaining as Denver moved ahead by one and the lead rotated back and forth over the rest of the contest.
Portland led 64-63 at halftime despite Jokic pouring in 20 points for the Nuggets.
–Field Level Media
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