Jokic makes go-ahead 3-pointer, Nuggets top Warriors 115-108
DENVER (AP) The Nikola Jokic and Gary Harris combination worked so well that Denver went back to it two days later.
It wasn’t scripted, but it paid off anyway.
Jokic hit a go-ahead 3-pointer off a missed dunk by Harris, and the Nuggets rallied to beat the Golden State Warriors 115-108 on Saturday night.
Jokic finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, Will Barton had 25 points and Harris 16 for the Nuggets, who split the four games with Golden State this season. Denver rallied from 12 down in the second half to hand the Warriors their second loss in three games.
Kevin Durant scored 31 points and Stephen Curry had 24 for Golden State.
”It was huge, especially coming off an emotional win over (Oklahoma City),” Harris said. ”For us to come and get the defending world champs was huge.”
Harris hit the game winner against the Thunder on Thursday when Jokic found him with an inbounds pass with 1.4 seconds left and he drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
This time Harris drove the baseline and went up to dunk, but Durant got a hand on it. The ball went out to Jokic in the corner, and he calmly drained a 3-pointer with 2:10 left to give the Nuggets a 107-104 lead.
”Missed, dunk, layup, pass, assist. That was huge,” Jokic said. ”I thought I heard the whistle because everybody stopped. I’m just going to shoot it. I’m glad I made it because I didn’t think about it.”
After Curry missed a 26-footer, Jokic hit two free throws to make it 109-104 and Denver closed it out.
”It was a tie ballgame, things had gone our way to the point where Gary Harris goes up for a dunk,” Curry said. ”It was just one of those lucky kind of bounces, right to Jokic and he knocks down a 3 and he gets the crowd into it.”
Harris joked he deserved an assist on the play but wasn’t credited with one.
”It was definitely a pass and I’m sticking with it,” he said.
Durant, who didn’t attempt a shot in the first quarter, was 12 of 16 from the field the rest of the game. He had nine points in the fourth when Golden State appeared to take control, but Denver rallied to take a 102-99 lead on Barton’s 3-pointer.
The Warriors still had a chance down 109-105 but Nick Young missed everything on a 3-point attempt. He and Durant were then hit with technicals and Jamal Murray hit the free throws with 28 seconds left.
”They hit some shots tonight,” Durant said. ”We made plays but down the stretch we couldn’t get it done.”
Warriors: F David West (personal reasons) and Jordan Bell (left ankle) were out of the lineup. … G Shaun Livingston returned after missing Friday’s game for personal reasons. … C JaVale McGee had five fouls in 6:15 but also finished with a game-high four blocks.
Nuggets: Trey Lyles had 15 points and 10 rebounds. … F Mason Plumlee missed his third straight game with a right calf strain. … F Wilson Chandler did not take part in the morning shootaround due to illness but was in the starting lineup and had five points in 23 minutes. … The announced crowd of 20,103 is the largest for a Nuggets game in Pepsi Center history.
Denver got a scare when Murray left the game with a right leg injury after he collided with Draymond Green on a drive into the lane less than a minute in. He went to the locker room and came back to the bench with his right thigh heavily wrapped.
Murray played 28 minutes and had 12 of his 15 points after halftime. After the game he got some treatment, and his teammates praised his effort.
”I was worried but then I remembered it was Jamal and he was going to figure a way to get back on the court,” Harris said. ”He’s a tough kid. The bruise is going to be ugly in the morning but he’s a competitor. He’ll go out there and play on one leg. That’s just the type of guy he is.”
Warriors: Host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.
Nuggets: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.