Michael Porter Jr. had 29 points and 11 rebounds, Jamal Murray scored 26 points and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Golden State Warriors 112-110 on Sunday night.
Bruce Brown scored 14 points, Aaron Gordon had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Jeff Green had 10 points for Denver (52-26), which moved within a game of clinching the top seed in the Western Conference with four to play.
Klay Thompson scored 25 points, Stephen Curry had 21, Donte DiVincenzo added 18 and Jordan Poole finished with 17 for Golden State (41-38). The Warriors slipped into a tie with the Los Angeles Clippers for fifth in the Western Conference, just a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Nuggets played their third straight game without two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, who is dealing with calf tightness. Zeke Nnaji (knee) was also out, leaving Denver without two centers.
Golden State led by as much as 15 points in the second quarter but the Nuggets rallied to make it 61-58 at intermission.
The Warriors opened up a 71-63 lead on Curry’s first 3-pointer of the game but Denver came back. Murray and Green hit consecutive 3-pointers, Curry missed on the other end and Murray found Gordon for a dunk to tie it.
Golden State missed a layup out of a timeout and Porter’s follow dunk gave the Nuggets their first lead since it was 2-0. They expanded their advantage to five points late in the period and took an 89-87 lead into the fourth quarter.
Denver increased its lead to 99-92 on a fadeaway by Gordon. The Warriors scored the next four points but consecutive 3-pointers by Murray made it 105-96 with 6:27 left.
Rookie Peyton Watson had six points in the fourth quarter to lead a late charge that gave the Nuggets an 11-point lead but Golden State rallied. Thompson’s 3-pointer made it a two-point game with 20 seconds left and a tie-up gave the Warriors one last chance.
Thompson missed two 3-pointers in the final seconds that would have won it for Golden State.
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