NIKOLA Jokic flirted with a triple-double in another all-around performance for Denver as the Nuggets fought back from a double-digit deficit in the third quarter to defeat the Phoenix Suns, 127-120, at the Pepsi Center on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
Jokic led the way for the Nuggets (20-25) with 29 points, including some huge baskets in the fourth period, to go with 14 rebounds and eight assists. But he also got some much-needed help down the stretch from Danilo Gallinari, who had 25 markers, and Jameer Nelson to overcome a 10-point third quarter deficit.
Nelson capped a late 6-0 run with a triple to extend a two-point Denver lead to eight, 124-116, at the 2:27 mark of the fourth. The Suns stayed within five and had a chance to cut the gap down but Nelson got a steal off Tyson Chandler that led to a pair of free throws by Gallinari to put Denver up by seven with only 36 seconds remaining.
The Suns missed three chances to score on the next play as the Nuggets held on to complete their come-from-behind win and nab their second straight victory.
The Nuggets went on an 18-7 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to turn what was a 10-point deficit into a 100-94 lead. The Suns regained control after a 13-5 blitz but Nikola Jokic had an assist and a basket to tie the game at 109 with a little over six minutes left to set up the thrilling finish.
Will Barton added 16 points off the bench for Denver, while Kenneth Faried and Nelson scored 15 and 13, respectively.
Eric Bledsoe scored 12 of his 28 in the fourth quarter but the Suns still came up short and fell to 15-31 after their second straight loss. Devin Booker and TJ Warren had 24 and 21 markers, respectively, for Phoenix, who also got 17 points off the bench from Brandon Knight.