It felt delight in Groundhog Day for Notify fans on Friday. Yet again, the young OKC starters didn’t finish down the stretch in one of the Western Conference’s toughest checks. In a game that the Notify (10-15) dominated nearly from initiate to finish, it was as soon as the execution from Denver (14-11) on the discontinue that made the variation as the Nuggets came away with a 97-95 win.
Playing without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for the second consecutive evening due to a left knee sprain, OKC’s starters came out firing with the bench unit being led by Justin Jackson’s 20 points. It was as soon as a defensive first half of the save the Notify managed everyone in a Nuggets uniform no longer named Nikola Jokic. The Joker had 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 dimes on the half of, nonetheless he wasn’t getting the back from Jamal Murray and crew.
Credit ranking also can restful fling to OKC’s perimeter defense, as Lu Dort and Hamidou Diallo locked down to present the Notify a 53-40 lead after two quarters.
The third quarter noticed a call of traded baskets as Jackson and Murray led the manner offensively, nonetheless on the discontinue of the length one of the strangest plays you might ever behold helped swing momentum in Denver’s settle on. Murray launched a half of-court prayer sooner than the buzzer and Diallo inexplicably tapped it while it was as soon as in the cylinder. The shot wasn’t going in originally, nonetheless the goaltend minimize the OKC lead to nine.
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The Notify replied properly after Denver minimize it two midway thru the fourth quarter. Diallo and Dort continued to ebook the manner as they gave OKC an 89-81 lead with honest beneath 5 minutes to play. That’s when the identical movie we noticed in Los Angeles performed out in Denver. There was as soon as as soon as again no delighted ending.
OKC couldn’t find offense without Gilgeous-Alexander on the ground, and the Nuggets slowly put together a 12-0 plod over the final four minutes to steal one from the Notify. Will Barton caught fire thru the final few minutes and, in a flash, the Notify had been down 93-89 with beneath a minute to play.
The Nuggets sealed the game on the line as the young Notify as soon as again didn’t maintain a lead, extending their losing spin to three games.
Up next for OKC is Milwaukee and the reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo on Sunday.