Nurkic's 17 points rally Nuggets over Wizards, 116-100
DENVER (AP) Jusuf Nurkic scored all of his season-high 17 points in the second half and the Denver Nuggets rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Washington Wizards 116-100 on Saturday night.
Gary Harris, D.J. Augustin and Darrell Arthur also scored 17 points and Will Barton finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for Denver. The Nuggets outscored Washington 41-17 in the final 12 minutes to win their fourth straight for the first time this season.
John Wall had 19 points and 11 assists, and Otto Porter scored 21 points for the Wizards, who have lost five straight.
Nurkic missed the first 33 games after having offseason surgery on his left knee. He played in 19 games starting Jan. 2 but scored in double figures in just three.
After sitting for eight games, he played sparingly Thursday before breaking out in the second half against Washington.
Washington played its third game without Bradley Beal, who is out with a sprained pelvis. The Wizards built an 11-point lead late in the third quarter without their leading scorer, as Porter had 10 points and Wall eight in the period. Wall's 14-foot jumper at the buzzer made it 83-75 heading into the fourth.
Marcus Thornton's 3-pointer with 9:19 left gave the Wizards an 89-82 lead, but Denver rallied. Two dunks by Nurkic tied it and two 3-pointers by Arthur sparked an 18-2 Nuggets run that gave them a 100-91 lead.
Denver kept up the pressure, going ahead 110-95 on Nurkic's driving layup with 2:31 left.
Wizards: Coach Randy Whitman said there was no setback for Beal and the team planned to keep him out Saturday. Beal joined the team Friday in Utah but didn't play in the loss. ... F Alan Anderson was out of the lineup with a left ankle injury. Anderson has played just seven games this season after undergoing offseason surgery on the ankle.
Nuggets: C Joffrey Lauvergne left the game in the third quarter after getting inadvertently hit in the face by Porter. He received stitches and didn't return. ... F Axel Toupane played out his 10-day contract Saturday. Denver coach Michael Malone has been happy with five games he has played. ''He's been everything, if not more, that we could have asked for,'' Malone said. ''Whether or not that translates into a second 10-day, we'll see.''
Wizards: Host Detroit on Monday.
Nuggets: At Miami on Monday