Nikola Jokic capped a triple-double with three free throws in the final seven seconds, Kyle Lowry missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Denver Nuggets overcame an injury to leading scorer Gary Harris to beat the Toronto Raptors 106-103 on Monday night.
Jokic made it 104-103 with a free throw with 7.0 seconds left, then hit two more foul shots with 5.6 seconds remaining before Lowry bounced a 26-footer off the rim.
Jokic had 23 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds, Jamal Murray scored 21 points, and Malik Beasley and Juan Hernangomez each scored 15 points for Denver. The Nuggets won their sixth straight and halted Toronto’s winning streak at eight.
Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points, Serge Ibaka had 15 and Pascal Siakam 14 for the Raptors.
Harris scored three points in the opening quarter but did not play after the first because of a sore right hip. He came in averaging a team-high 17.3 points per game.
Lowry returned after sitting out Saturday’s loss at Cleveland because of an unspecified back injury, the first game he’d missed this season. He shot 1 for 7, missing 5 of 6 from 3-point range. Toronto went 11 for 41 from outside the arc.
The game pitted Leonard, the Eastern Conference player of the week, against Denver’s Paul Millsap, the Western Conference award winner.
The Nuggets led 86-78 to begin the fourth, but Toronto tied it at 94 on Ibaka’s dunk at 4:41.
Ibaka made a pair of free throws and Leonard drained a jump shot with 54 seconds left to put Toronto up 101-100, its first lead of the second half.
Jokic restored Denver’s lead with 40 seconds remaining before Danny Green missed twice at the other end. Hernangomez was fouled grabbing the rebound on Green’s second miss and made one of two from the free-throw line, but Leonard answered with a jumper, tying it 103-all with seven seconds left.
Nuggets: Jokic had seven assists in the first. His career high is 17, set Feb 15, 2018 at Milwaukee. … Denver outscored Toronto 23-2 on second-chance points.
Raptors: Rookie coach Nick Nurse was named NBA Coach of the Month for October and November. He’s the fourth coach in Raptors history to win the award, joining Dwane Casey, Sam Mitchell and Lenny Wilkens. … The last rookie coach to win the award was Luke Walton, who did so as interim head coach of the Golden State Warriors in November 2015. … The Raptors shot 1 for 10 from 3-point range in the second. … Lowry had 11 assists.
Nuggets: Visit Orlando on Wednesday night.
Raptors: Host Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
Source: The Associated Press