DEN
OKC

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Millsap scores 36 as Nuggets top Thunder 126-125 in OT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Denver coach Michael Malone said before the game that Paul Millsap was improving, but it wouldn't be fair to expect the veteran forward to be as good as he was before a left wrist sprain cost him 44 games.

Millsap was actually better on Friday night.

He scored a season-high 36 points to help the Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 126-125 in overtime.

Millsap made 13 of 18 field goals and grabbed nine rebounds.

''These past few days, it's been feeling pretty good, so I've been able to drive left a lot and got to get back in and play my game,'' Millsap said. ''Pretty much, that's some of it. The rest of it was Coach calling plays and my teammates giving me the ball.''

Nikola Jokic had 23 points and 16 rebounds, and Will Barton added 18 points for the Nuggets, who were 2-4 on their road trip and desperately needed the win for the Western Conference playoff race. Denver entered the night two games out of the No. 8 spot.

''It's a good win, especially with how we executed down the stretch,'' Millsap said. ''The way we did it was very special because we have been struggling on this road trip. To get a win like this against a really good team and beating them in the fashion that we did you know it was special to us.''

Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook had 33 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds, but he missed what would have been a game-winning 3-pointer at the end of regulation. Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points and Jerami Grant added 16 for the Thunder, who have lost four of five. Those losses have been by a combined nine points, with none by more than four.

''I wouldn't use the word frustration, but I would - certainly, I think there's been things as it relates to execution,'' Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.

Denver led 122-121 in overtime and had the ball before the Thunder tied up Jamal Murray and forced a jump ball with 15 seconds left. The Thunder got possession on the jump ball, but Denver's Mason Plumlee blocked Grant's layup.

''I felt like I had the chance to contest it without fouling and not put them back on the free throw line, so we get the block and the rebound and it was all good,'' Plumlee said.

Millsap made two free throws at the other end to put Denver up 124-121.

Oklahoma City's Paul George was fouled with 4.6 seconds left. He made the first free throw, then the Thunder were called for a lane violation on George's intentional miss. Barton made two free throws on the other end to seal it.

Millsap scored 15 points in the first half to give Denver a 62-58 lead. The Nuggets scored the first six points of the second half, including two buckets by Millsap, to go up 10. The Nuggets expanded their lead to 15 later in the quarter and took a 92-79 advantage into the fourth.

Oklahoma City's reserves helped the Thunder climb back into the game. Westbrook tied the game at 94 on a drive when the Nuggets were called for goaltending, and the Thunder finally took a 99-97 lead on a 3-pointer by Grant.

Barton made a layup with nine seconds left to tie the score at 114. Westbrook missed a deep three in the closing seconds, and the game went to overtime.

Donovan said he wanted Westbrook to drive to the hoop at the end of regulation, but it wasn't available. Westbrook has been one of the most effective drivers and free-throw shooters in the league in recent years, but the 29 percent 3-point shooter chose to launch from 27 feet.

''I thought he created a good shot for himself,'' Donovan said. ''I didn't think he took a bad shot. He had an opportunity to make it. He didn't make it.''

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TIP-INS

Nuggets: Shot 52.2 percent in the first half. ... F Wilson Chandler left the game with a nose contusion. ... G Gary Harris missed his seventh straight game with a right knee strain. Malone said he expects Harris to miss at least another week.

Thunder: Opened the game with a 9-0 lead. ... Made just 15 of 26 free throws. ... Made a franchise-record 20 3-pointers.

QUOTABLE

Malone: ''They went on a big run in the fourth quarter, but we answered and we responded and made enough plays to get a hell of a win for us. Proud of all of our guys.''

STAT OF THE NIGHT

The Thunder, who entered the game fifth in the league in rebounding and first in offensive rebounding, were outrebounded 58-50.

UP NEXT

The Nuggets host the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

The Thunder play at the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.

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Key Players
N. Jokic
15 C
R. Westbrook
0 PG
36.2 Min. Per Game 36.2
25.3 Pts. Per Game 25.3
10.1 Ast. Per Game 10.1
9.7 Reb. Per Game 9.7
49.7 Field Goal % 45.0
49.4 Three Point % 45.1
85.0 Free Throw % 73.3
+ 3 Alex Abrines made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Steven Adams 0:01
+ 1 Will Barton made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:03
+ 1 Will Barton made 1st of 2 free throws 0:03
  Personal foul on Corey Brewer 0:03
  Paul George missed 2nd of 2 free throws 0:04
  Team rebound 0:04
+ 1 Paul George made 1st of 2 free throws 0:04
  Personal foul on Mason Plumlee 0:04
+ 1 Paul Millsap made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:05
+ 1 Paul Millsap made 1st of 2 free throws 0:05
  Personal foul on Corey Brewer 0:05
Team Stats
Points 126 125
Field Goals 49-94 (52.1%) 45-108 (41.7%)
3-Pointers 10-30 (33.3%) 20-44 (45.5%)
Free Throws 18-21 (85.7%) 15-27 (55.6%)
Total Rebounds 64 59
Offensive 12 18
Defensive 46 32
Team 6 9
Assists 27 25
Steals 4 13
Blocks 5 2
Turnovers 15 8
Fouls 24 22
Technicals 0 0
23 PTS, 16 REB, 6 AST
33 PTS, 9 REB, 13 AST
1234OTT
away team logo Nuggets 41-35 2735302212126
home team logo Thunder 44-33 2830213511125
Team Stats
away team logo Nuggets 41-35 PPG RPG APG
home team logo Thunder 44-33 101.2 PPG 44 RPG 16.3 APG
Key Players
P. Millsap PF 14.6 PPG 6.4 RPG 2.8 APG 46.4 FG%
R. Westbrook PG 25.4 PPG 10.1 RPG 10.3 APG 44.9 FG%
Top Scorers
P. Millsap PF 36 PTS 9 REB 2 AST
R. Westbrook PG 33 PTS 9 REB 13 AST
52.1 FG% 41.7
33.3 3PT FG% 45.5
85.7 FT% 55.6
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
P. Millsap 39 36 9 2 0 0 1 5 13/18 2/3 8/11 3 6 48 +1
N. Jokic 41 23 16 6 1 2 4 3 11/22 1/6 0/0 1 15 50 +11
W. Barton 40 18 7 5 0 0 2 2 7/15 1/6 3/3 1 6 33 +4
J. Murray 45 15 4 5 1 1 5 1 5/12 3/6 2/2 1 3 26 +6
W. Chandler 22 2 7 2 0 1 1 3 1/6 0/1 0/0 1 6 13 0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
P. Millsap 39 36 9 2 0 0 1 5 13/18 2/3 8/11 3 6 48 +1
N. Jokic 41 23 16 6 1 2 4 3 11/22 1/6 0/0 1 15 50 +11
W. Barton 40 18 7 5 0 0 2 2 7/15 1/6 3/3 1 6 33 +4
J. Murray 45 15 4 5 1 1 5 1 5/12 3/6 2/2 1 3 26 +6
W. Chandler 22 2 7 2 0 1 1 3 1/6 0/1 0/0 1 6 13 0
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Harris 33 12 3 2 2 0 1 4 4/6 2/4 2/2 0 3 20 -3
M. Plumlee 14 9 6 2 0 1 0 3 3/5 0/0 3/3 3 3 20 -10
T. Lyles 10 6 1 3 0 0 0 1 3/5 0/1 0/0 0 1 13 0
T. Craig 16 5 5 0 0 0 1 2 2/5 1/3 0/0 2 3 9 -4
K. Faried - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Arthur - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Harris - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Beasley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Lydon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Hernangomez - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Jefferson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Morris - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 260 126 58 27 4 5 15 24 49/94 10/30 18/21 12 46 232 +5
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Westbrook 44 33 9 13 2 1 2 2 12/32 4/9 5/8 3 6 69 +2
C. Anthony 33 23 9 0 1 1 0 3 9/21 5/10 0/0 2 7 34 0
P. George 41 13 6 4 3 0 2 4 4/12 1/3 4/7 3 3 28 -12
C. Brewer 34 10 6 3 0 0 0 4 4/7 1/4 1/2 4 2 22 -7
S. Adams 33 7 10 5 4 0 0 1 3/8 0/0 1/4 5 5 31 -8
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Westbrook 44 33 9 13 2 1 2 2 12/32 4/9 5/8 3 6 69 +2
C. Anthony 33 23 9 0 1 1 0 3 9/21 5/10 0/0 2 7 34 0
P. George 41 13 6 4 3 0 2 4 4/12 1/3 4/7 3 3 28 -12
C. Brewer 34 10 6 3 0 0 0 4 4/7 1/4 1/2 4 2 22 -7
S. Adams 33 7 10 5 4 0 0 1 3/8 0/0 1/4 5 5 31 -8
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Grant 24 16 4 0 2 0 2 4 5/9 2/3 4/6 1 3 20 +4
P. Patterson 14 9 3 0 1 0 0 2 3/7 3/5 0/0 0 3 13 +2
A. Abrines 15 6 1 0 0 0 0 2 2/3 2/3 0/0 0 1 7 +21
R. Felton 18 5 1 0 0 0 1 0 2/7 1/5 0/0 0 1 5 +1
T. Ferguson 5 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 1/2 1/2 0/0 0 1 3 -8
K. Singler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Roberson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Huestis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Dozier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Hamilton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Collison - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 261 125 50 25 13 2 8 22 45/108 20/44 15/27 18 32 232 -5