Murray scores 26, Nuggets hold off Warriors 112-110

DENVER (AP) — Jamal Murray scored 26 points and blocked Klay Thompson’s 3-point attempt in the final seconds, and the Denver Nuggets held on for a 112-110 win over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.

Michael Porter Jr. had 29 points and 11 rebounds and Aaron Gordon added 13 points and 10 rebounds for short-handed Denver.

Denver (52-26) moved within a game of securing home-court advantage in the Western Conference. A victory in the final four games or one loss by Memphis will give the Nuggets the No. 1 seed for the first time in franchise history.

“I love the fact we’ve been in first place since the middle of December, but this is all geared towards the postseason and how we perform,” coach Michael Malone said. “I know when the season is over, that’s how we’re going to be judged.”

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic missed his third straight game with calf tightness that first cropped up against Milwaukee on March 25 and lingered against Philadelphia on Monday, Malone said.

Thompson led Golden State with 25 points and Stephen Curry scored 21, but struggled from the field. Curry missed his first five shots from behind the arc and finished 2 of 14 from deep.

“He’s entitled to those,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s had such an incredible year and has played so well and has done so much for us. Just a tough night.”

The Warriors (41-38) are tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for the fifth seed and are just a half-game ahead of New Orleans and the surging Lakers, who have won three straight.

“We’ve got to come to a realization that if we’re going to win or do anything in a playoff kind of scenario, a game like tonight can’t happen,” Curry said.

Golden State led by 15 in the second quarter, but the Nuggets closed within three at halftime. They led by two after three and opened the fourth quarter on an 8-3 run to lead 97-90.

Peyton Watson had a thunderous dunk with 3:58 that put Denver ahead 109-98.

Donte DiVincenzo, who had 18 points, sparked a late rally that got the Warriors within five in the final minute. Thompson hit a 3-pointer to cut it to two points with 20.7 seconds left.

Golden State won a jump ball with 10 seconds left, but Thompson misfired on his first 3-point attempt, the rebound came out to him and Murray blocked his second try.

“Once it’s starts going to Klay, I’m like, ‘I gotta go, I gotta go,'" Murray said. “You know he’s not going to miss two in a row ,so I jumped as high as I could and got a piece of it.”


Malone stressed that Jokic’s absence was not gamesmanship; the two-time MVP is truly dealing with a tight calf.

"It’s just us being smart about it,” Malone said. “The worst-case scenario is he plays and it creates a much bigger issue where he’s out for an extended period of time.”


Warriors: F Andrew Wiggins (personal) missed his 22nd straight game. He has not played since Feb. 13. ... Golden State has lost six of its last seven against Denver.

Nuggets: C Zeke Nnjai (knee) joined Jokic in street clothes. ... Kentavioius Caldwell-Pope played despite dealing with a non-COVID illness. He went to the locker room early in the first quarter, but returned a few minutes later.


Warriors: Host Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.

Nuggets: At Houston on Tuesday night.

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