Nikola Jokic had 19 points and 11 rebounds in just three quarters to lead the Denver Nuggets past the Toronto Raptors 121-111 on Thursday night.
Denver improved to 8-1 since Jamal Murray went down with a torn ACL in his left knee on April 12. The Nuggets also lost guards Monte Morris and Will Barton to hamstring injuries, but both are expected to return this season.
Without its starting backcourt, Denver has relied on reserves Facu Campazzo, P.J. Dozier and Shaquille Harrison, a two-way player getting a chance to make an impact. He did Thursday with a season-high 11 points, and Campazzo followed up his first double-double on Wednesday night with 12 points.
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Jokic’s double-double was his 53rd of the season.
OG Anunoby scored 25 points for the Raptors, Kyle Lowry had 20, and Malachi Flynn, who started in place of injured Fred VanVleet (hip), pitched in with 16.
The Nuggets led by six in the second quarter and again late in the third, but Toronto rallied both times to tie it. It was 87-85 after three quarters. Denver scored the first 12 points of the fourth and held the Raptors to just a pair of 3-pointers by Lowry in the first 5:40 of the fourth.
Lowry’s flagrant foul on P.J. Dozier led to a six-point possession for Denver and a 21-point lead.
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