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Barton scores 37 points, Nuggets rally to beat Bulls 111-110

DENVER (AP) Will Barton provided the early spark, then delivered in the final moments to help the Denver Nuggets escape with a narrow victory.

Barton capped a career-high 37 points with a driving layup with 3.2 seconds left and the Nuggets overcame the loss of Nikola Jokic to beat the Chicago Bulls 111-110 on Thursday night.

Gary Harris added 21 points, and Kenneth Faried had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Denver, which lost another big man to injury when Jokic was hurt.

He joins Paul Millsap (wrist surgery) and Wilson Chandler (back injury) on the sidelines.

''We were already without Paul and Wilson, Joke goes down, it was like, `Man, we just can't lose this game,''' Barton said. ''I just wanted to step it up. It was definitely one of my biggest games here.''

Jokic went down with 44 seconds left in the second quarter when he drove to the basket and stepped on Jerian Grant's foot. Jokic hit two free throws before heading to the locker room with an obvious limp. He didn't return in the second half.

Coach Michael Malone said after the game that Jokic would get treatment and his status for Saturday's game is unknown

Lauri Markanen and Robin Lopez had 20 points each for Chicago, and Kris Dunn added 19. The Bulls have lost seven straight to finish 2-13 in November and drop to 3-17 overall.

The Bulls, who led for most of the game, took advantage of Jokic's absence and led 108-105 in the final minute. Barton was fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit all three free throws to tie it, then made 1 of 2 to give Denver a one-point lead with 20 seconds left.

Dunn gave Chicago the lead with a layup with 9.6 seconds left, and it came down to Barton with the ball.

''I dreamed of those moments when I was young, having the ball in my hands at crunch time and delivering,'' Barton said. ''I'm just thankful I could do that tonight.''

He brought the ball up, put a move on Justin Holiday and drove to the basket and hit the reverse layup after the ball hung on the rim.

The Bulls missed an opportunity to get a rare road win.

''I didn't do my job and I let my teammates down,'' Holiday said. ''I just didn't do what I was supposed to do in that situation, that's pretty much it. I am very disappointed. We have that game in the bag. It just hurts that I let my teammates down.''

Chicago led 68-62 at halftime but Denver rallied to briefly take the lead in the third quarter. Grant hit a 3-pointer at the end of the third to put the Bulls ahead 92-91.

''We took a step in the right direction tonight and we went out there and competed for 48 minutes,'' Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. ''I thought we really had a competitive edge to our team. It's hard to get over big emotional wins and it's tough to get over devastating losses.''

TIP-INS

Bulls: F Nikola Mirotic has increased his practice load and is close to returning. ''He's really in training camp mode,'' Hoiberg said. ''He's had a lot of individual work but nothing simulates that playing up and down, 5-on-5 type action. Mirotic has been out since a preseason altercation with teammate Bobby Portis left him with several broken bones in his face as well as a concussion. ... Zach LaVine (left ACL tear) will have a full practice Friday after going through individual drills Thursday.

Nuggets: Chandler was out for the second straight game with low back soreness. Juancho Hernangomez again got the start in his place. ... Richard Jefferson played a season-high 12 minutes.

VETERAN SAVVY

When Jokic tried to walk to the locker room after getting hurt, Jefferson ran over and stopped him. The 16-year veteran told the 22-year-old center he needed to take his foul shots before leaving.

''It was chaotic. It was a timeout and he was saying he was done,'' Jefferson said. ''I was like, `Dude, if don't go and shoot the free throws, one, the other team gets to pick who shoots them and two, if you go back in the half and you start feeling a little better you can't come back.'''

UP NEXT

Bulls: Host Sacramento on Friday night.

Nuggets: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night in Lonzo Ball's first game at Pepsi Center.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Denzel Valentine missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:00
+ 2 Will Barton made reverse layup 0:03
+ 2 Kris Dunn made driving layup 0:09
  Defensive rebound by Kris Dunn 0:19
  Will Barton missed 2nd of 2 free throws 0:20
+ 1 Will Barton made 1st of 2 free throws 0:20
  Personal foul on Justin Holiday 0:20
  Defensive rebound by Kenneth Faried 0:35
  Justin Holiday missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:38
+ 1 Will Barton made 3rd of 3 free throws 0:45
+ 1 Will Barton made 2nd of 3 free throws 0:45
Team Stats
Points 110 111
Field Goals 44-82 (53.7%) 38-83 (45.8%)
3-Pointers 9-24 (37.5%) 12-31 (38.7%)
Free Throws 13-21 (61.9%) 23-31 (74.2%)
Total Rebounds 47 52
Offensive 6 11
Defensive 34 33
Team 7 8
Assists 25 22
Steals 4 7
Blocks 4 4
Turnovers 11 12
Fouls 27 19
Technicals 0 1
19 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST
37 PTS, 2 REB, 3 AST
1234T
away team logo Bulls 3-17 39292418110
home team logo Nuggets 12-9 30322920111
Team Stats
away team logo Bulls 3-17 103.3 PPG 44.7 RPG 23.5 APG
home team logo Nuggets 12-9 107.9 PPG 44.4 RPG 24.4 APG
Key Players
L. Markkanen F 15.3 PPG 7.7 RPG 1.3 APG 43.0 FG%
W. Barton G 14.7 PPG 4.8 RPG 4.1 APG 44.3 FG%
Top Scorers
L. Markkanen F 20 PTS 9 REB 0 AST
W. Barton G 37 PTS 2 REB 3 AST
53.7 FG% 45.8
37.5 3PT FG% 38.7
61.9 FT% 74.2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Lopez 34 20 6 1 1 0 4 3 9/11 0/0 2/3 3 3 25 0
L. Markkanen 31 20 9 0 0 1 1 3 7/17 1/3 5/5 1 8 29 0
K. Dunn 26 19 5 5 1 0 1 4 9/11 1/1 0/3 0 5 34 +1
J. Holiday 37 16 1 2 1 2 2 5 6/14 2/8 2/2 0 1 22 +3
D. Valentine 39 5 7 5 1 0 0 2 2/6 1/4 0/0 1 6 23 +2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Lopez 34 20 6 1 1 0 4 3 9/11 0/0 2/3 3 3 25 0
L. Markkanen 31 20 9 0 0 1 1 3 7/17 1/3 5/5 1 8 29 0
K. Dunn 26 19 5 5 1 0 1 4 9/11 1/1 0/3 0 5 34 +1
J. Holiday 37 16 1 2 1 2 2 5 6/14 2/8 2/2 0 1 22 +3
D. Valentine 39 5 7 5 1 0 0 2 2/6 1/4 0/0 1 6 23 +2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
P. Zipser 17 11 2 2 0 0 1 4 4/6 3/4 0/0 0 2 16 +1
B. Portis 17 9 2 2 0 1 2 1 4/8 0/1 1/2 1 1 14 -3
J. Grant 22 8 6 7 0 0 0 3 3/6 1/2 1/4 0 6 28 -4
A. Blakeney 13 2 2 1 0 0 0 2 0/3 0/1 2/2 0 2 6 -5
Q. Pondexter - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Mirotic - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Payne - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Felder - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. LaVine - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Felicio - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Arcidiacono - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Nwaba - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 110 40 25 4 4 11 27 44/82 9/24 13/21 6 34 197 -5
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Harris 40 21 3 3 3 2 3 1 6/15 3/8 6/8 0 3 32 +10
K. Faried 22 14 13 1 0 0 1 3 7/10 0/0 0/0 4 9 28 -3
N. Jokic 15 8 4 4 0 0 0 1 3/6 0/0 2/2 2 2 20 -6
J. Murray 30 5 4 1 0 0 2 5 1/9 0/2 3/3 3 1 9 +2
J. Hernangomez 23 1 1 2 0 0 1 1 0/3 0/3 1/2 0 1 5 -6
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Harris 40 21 3 3 3 2 3 1 6/15 3/8 6/8 0 3 32 +10
K. Faried 22 14 13 1 0 0 1 3 7/10 0/0 0/0 4 9 28 -3
N. Jokic 15 8 4 4 0 0 0 1 3/6 0/0 2/2 2 2 20 -6
J. Murray 30 5 4 1 0 0 2 5 1/9 0/2 3/3 3 1 9 +2
J. Hernangomez 23 1 1 2 0 0 1 1 0/3 0/3 1/2 0 1 5 -6
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
W. Barton 35 37 2 3 3 0 3 3 13/19 6/9 5/6 0 2 45 +12
T. Lyles 22 10 6 1 0 1 0 0 3/6 2/3 2/2 0 6 19 0
E. Mudiay 17 7 4 3 1 0 2 0 2/9 1/5 2/2 1 3 16 -1
M. Plumlee 20 6 7 2 0 1 0 5 2/3 0/0 2/6 1 6 18 -2
R. Jefferson 12 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 1/3 0/1 0/0 0 0 6 -1
P. Millsap - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Chandler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Arthur - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Beasley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Lydon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Morris - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Craig - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 111 44 22 7 4 12 19 38/83 12/31 23/31 11 33 198 +5