DENVER — Nikola Jokic had 28 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, Michael Porter Jr. scored a season-best 27 and the Denver Nuggets overcame the loss of point guard Jamal Murray to beat the Chicago Bulls 123-101 on Saturday night.
Aaron Gordon had 15 points and 12 rebounds for defending NBA champion Denver, which has won all four of its home games.
Murray played the first 8:40 before leaving with right hamstring tightness. He finished with two points and two rebounds. Reggie Jackson, getting extended minutes in place of Murray, scored 16 off the bench, tying his season high.
Nikola Vucevic had 19 points, DeMar DeRozan scored 17 and Jalen Carter added 16 for Chicago, which has dropped two straight.
The Bulls won the previous meeting in Denver, 117-96 on March 8, and took a two-point lead at halftime of this one. The Nuggets opened the third quarter on a 21-4 run to go ahead 72-57 and led by 18 before Chicago cut it to 86-76 early in the fourth.
Denver extended the lead to 16, but the Bulls made it 101-90 on a 3-pointer from Carter before the Nuggets went on a 10-1 run to put it away.
Both teams were coming off their first game of the NBA In-Season Tournament on Friday and looked as though they had played the previous night in the first quarter. Denver was 1 of 8 from 3-point range and the Bulls committed four turnovers, but both teams warmed up.
For the game, the Nuggets shot 44.4% percent from behind the arc and Chicago turned it over just seven times in the final three quarters.
Nuggets backup center DeAndre Jordan made his season debut to go head-to-head with Andre Drummond, Chicago’s burly big man off the bench. Jordan has not played much since joining Denver before last season, instead serving as a veteran presence in his 16th season. He had one point in 12 minutes.
Collin Gillespie, who missed last season with an injury, also saw some court time with Murray out and scored his first NBA points on a layup midway through the third quarter. His first career 3-pointer late in the fourth gave Denver a 23-point lead.
Bulls: Host the Utah Jazz on Monday night.
Nuggets: Host the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA