Michael Porter Jr. scored a career-high 39 issues, Nikola Jokic had 24 issues and the Denver Nuggets beat the undermanned Houston Rockets 129-116 on Saturday night time.
P.J. Dozier began at guard rather than the injured Will Barton and added a career-high 23 issues for the Nuggets. They’re 13-Three of their closing 16 video games whilst coping with a wave of backcourt accidents.
“I used to be in point of fact happy offensively,” Nuggets trainer Michael Malone mentioned. “We got here from a sport closing night time the place the ball wasn’t transferring an entire lot (118-97 loss at Golden State). It was once roughly being held and we didn’t make the protection paintings for us. This night, we had 36 assists — that’s a super quantity for us. Getting one win on this league is tricky. I’ve mentioned that earlier than and I’m glad we were given it.”
The Rockets, too, had been besieged by means of accidents and roster upheaval and most effective seven gamers logged taking part in time in opposition to the Nuggets. D.J. Wilson led Houston with 25 issues, Kelly Olynyk had 21 and Kenyon Martin Jr. 18.
Denver swept the three-game season sequence. “It’s surely difficult whilst you’ve were given no one coming in to avoid wasting you,” Olynyk mentioned of the Rockets’ seven-man rotation. “You’re principally rotating one man in the second one half of there. It’s great as a result of you’ll get in a rhythm and for a tender man you don’t have to appear over your shoulder in any respect. However you’re going to need to determine it out and make performs and all that. It’s surely excellent revel in for those younger guys.”
The Nuggets asserted themselves from the outset with Dozier and Porter environment the tone early by means of hitting 3-pointers within the opening mins. Porter completed with 8.
A length-of-the-court cross from Jokic to Dozier ended in a working dunk within the closing 2nd of the second one quarter that gave the Nuggets a 72-50 halftime lead.
Houston performed the Nuggets frivolously throughout the 3rd quarter, however nonetheless trailed 102-82 heading into the general length. The Rockets may just make little headway into the deficit the remainder of the way in which because the Nuggets started substituting freely halfway throughout the ultimate quarter. BIG CATCH
Dozier was once requested in a postgame zoom name what got here into his thoughts after catching Jokic’s length-of-court cross and completing the play with a working dunk simply earlier than the first-half buzzer. “Landing!” Dozier mentioned, hanging either one of his palms up. “He’s one of the vital highest quarterbacks I’ve observed to this point and that’s within the NBA and NFL.” Jokic completed with 12 assists. Facundo Campazzo had a profession excessive 13.
Rockets: G John Wall had the night time off — the second one of a again to again set for Houston — as a part of the control of a left Achilles tendon damage that he to begin with suffered in early 2019. … F Christian Wooden was once dominated out on account of proper ankle soreness.
Nuggets: Barton suffered “a beautiful critical” proper hamstring pressure within the opening mins of Friday night time’s sport at Golden State and there’s no definitive timetable for his go back. “I don’t be expecting Will might be again in uniform within the foreseeable long term,” Nuggets trainer Michael Malone mentioned in a pregame zoom name. The Nuggets had been hit exhausting by means of accidents on the guard place. Jamal Murray was once misplaced in overdue March to a season-ending knee damage and Monte Morris stays sidelined by means of a proper hamstring damage.
Rockets: Host Minnesota on Tuesday night time.
Nuggets: Host Memphis on Monday night time.