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Grant scores career-best 29, Nuggets beat Pistons 115-98

DENVER (AP) Nikola Jokic could hardly recall the last time the Denver Nuggets were at full strength.

Now that they are healthy again, he instantly remembered just what a force they can be.

Jerami Grant scored a career-high 29 points and Jokic had a season-best four steals to help the healed-up Nuggets beat the Detroit Pistons 115-98 on Tuesday night.

''As long as we keep it like this, we're going to be good,'' Jokic said.

At 40-18, the Nuggets, even through an array of injuries, are tied for their best start through 58 games in their NBA franchise history. They had the same mark a season ago on their way to winding up with the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

Jokic added 16 points in a game where Denver led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, had it cut to single digits and pulled away in the fourth to remain the second seed in the West.

With his roster finally given a clean bill of health, coach Michael Malone is trying to find enough minutes for everyone. Jokic and Jamal Murray had nothing to worry about with each logging quality minutes. Grant is certainly making a strong case for more playing time after shooting 12 of 16 from the floor. His previous best was 28 points on April 10, 2019, against Milwaukee while with Oklahoma City.

''We've got a lot of talent, a lot of players that can put up 25 points a game,'' Grant said. ''You never really know where it's going to come from on any given night.''

Murray remains hot since returning from a left ankle injury earlier this month, finishing with 16 points, eight assists and just one turnover.

Derrick Rose and Christian Wood each had 20 points for Detroit. Rose has now scored 20 or more points a team-high 25 times this season.

The Pistons dropped their seventh straight in falling to 2-8 in February. One of those wins, though, was an overtime victory against a depleted Denver squad on Feb. 2 in which Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson combined for 41 points.

Both are now elsewhere: Drummond was traded to Cleveland, while Jackson was bought out of his contract and then signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Now, coach Dwane Casey is trying to find some chemistry. He found it in spurts despite not having Bruce Brown, who was a scratch with left knee soreness.

''You can't have the, `Oh, my bads.' We had way too many, `Oh, my bads,''' Casey said. ''We had people wide open all over the place, and missed some kick-outs and against a team like this they're going to convert on those when you make those types of mistakes.''

Denver threatened to run away with the game on several occasions, but the Pistons always bounced right back. A pair of dunks by Grant early in the fourth gave the Nuggets some needed separation. He scored 14 of his points in the final quarter, including two 3-pointers.

''I love that he's on my team,'' Jokic said of Grant.

TIP-INS

Pistons: F/C Thon Maker turned 23 on Tuesday. ... G Khyri Thomas was active after being recalled from Grand Rapids of the G League. Thomas, who hasn't played with the Pistons since Nov. 6 because of a right foot injury, had three points in nearly 14 minutes.

Nuggets: Malone used his challenge at 6:22 of the first quarter after Jokic was called for an offensive foul. The play was overturned following a review.

FIRST POINTS

Pistons big man Donta Hall had a memorable first half as he scored his first NBA points on a pair of free throws. Hall signed a 10-day contract over the weekend.

''Just bringing my energy up and down the floor,'' Hall said.

BOL BOL UPDATE

Nuggets rookie center Bol Bol took the court about two hours before the game to practice his 3-point shot. Bol, who's currently sidelined with a left foot injury, has yet to play for the Nuggets this season. Malone views Bol's rookie season much like that of Michael Porter Jr. a season ago, when Porter sat out with a back injury.

''Overall, I think Bol has really responded,'' Malone said.

HIGH PRAISE

Casey spoke highly of the Jokic-Murray combination.

''Two superstars,'' Casey said. ''We don't have anyone like Jokic. We don't have anyone like Murray. I'm not ashamed to say that. We're working to get there.''

UP NEXT

Pistons: Game 3 of a four-game trip Friday at Phoenix.

Nuggets: Travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Friday.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:46   Paul Millsap missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:45   DEN team rebound  
11:45   Personal foul on John Henson  
11:38 +2 Jamal Murray made alley-oop shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 0-2
11:18   Lost ball turnover on John Henson, stolen by Paul Millsap  
11:14   Paul Millsap missed layup  
11:12   Defensive rebound by Tony Snell  
11:00 +2 Christian Wood made driving layup 2-2
10:53 +2 Jamal Murray made layup, assist by Will Barton 2-4
10:45   Shooting foul on Jamal Murray  
10:45 +1 Derrick Rose made 1st of 2 free throws 3-4
10:45 +1 Derrick Rose made 2nd of 2 free throws 4-4
10:27 +2 Gary Harris made floating jump shot, assist by Will Barton 4-6
10:12   Tony Snell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:09   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
10:04 +3 Jamal Murray made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Paul Millsap 4-9
9:51   Derrick Rose missed reverse layup  
9:47   Offensive rebound by John Henson  
9:47 +2 John Henson made dunk 6-9
9:41   Will Barton missed floating jump shot  
9:36   Defensive rebound by Derrick Rose  
9:34   Derrick Rose missed layup, blocked by Jamal Murray  
9:34   DET team rebound  
9:20   Christian Wood missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:16   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
9:10   Traveling violation turnover on Paul Millsap  
8:59   Lost ball turnover on Derrick Rose, stolen by Nikola Jokic  
8:51   Gary Harris missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:49   Defensive rebound by John Henson  
8:39 +2 Derrick Rose made driving layup 8-9
8:16   Jamal Murray missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:15   DEN team rebound  
8:09   Jamal Murray missed hook shot  
8:07   Defensive rebound by Christian Wood  
7:55 +2 Christian Wood made floating jump shot, assist by Tony Snell 10-9
7:34 +2 Nikola Jokic made hook shot, assist by Jamal Murray 10-11
7:11   Personal foul on Paul Millsap  
6:58   John Henson missed driving layup  
6:56   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
6:48 +2 Gary Harris made reverse layup, assist by Jamal Murray 10-13
6:43   Full timeout called  
6:35 +2 John Henson made alley-oop shot, assist by Tony Snell 12-13
6:22   Personal foul on Brandon Knight  
6:22   Turnover on Nikola Jokic  
6:22   Full timeout called  
6:13 +2 Nikola Jokic made layup 12-15
5:55   Bad pass turnover on Brandon Knight, stolen by Nikola Jokic  
5:50 +2 Will Barton made layup, assist by Paul Millsap 12-17
5:50   Shooting foul on Langston Galloway  
5:50 +1 Will Barton made free throw 12-18
5:30   Christian Wood missed layup  
5:27   Offensive rebound by Christian Wood  
5:27   Christian Wood missed dunk  
5:27   Offensive rebound by Christian Wood  
5:25   Christian Wood missed dunk, blocked by Monte Morris  
5:23   Defensive rebound by Monte Morris  
5:20 +3 Paul Millsap made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Monte Morris 12-21
4:58 +3 Tony Snell made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Brandon Knight 15-21
4:43   Personal foul on Christian Wood  
4:30   Lost ball turnover on Nikola Jokic, stolen by Brandon Knight  
4:14 +3 Brandon Knight made 3-pt. jump shot 18-21
3:59   Jerami Grant missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:56   Defensive rebound by Thon Maker  
3:42   Thon Maker missed hook shot  
3:42   DET team rebound  
3:42   Personal foul on Jerami Grant  
3:37 +3 Langston Galloway made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Derrick Walton 21-21
3:23   Bad pass turnover on Will Barton, stolen by Derrick Walton  
3:12 +2 Thon Maker made dunk, assist by Brandon Knight 23-21
3:12   Full timeout called  
2:48   Mason Plumlee missed hook shot  
2:47   Defensive rebound by Thon Maker  
2:47   Personal foul on Mason Plumlee  
2:32   Sekou Doumbouya missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:29   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
2:15 +2 Jerami Grant made jump shot, assist by Jamal Murray 23-23
1:56   Brandon Knight missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:54   Defensive rebound by Jerami Grant  
1:50 +2 Monte Morris made layup, assist by Jerami Grant 23-25
1:41   Personal foul on Monte Morris  
1:41   Brandon Knight missed 1st of 2 free throws  
1:41   DET team rebound  
1:41   Brandon Knight missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
1:39   Defensive rebound by Michael Porter Jr.  
1:33   Michael Porter Jr. missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:28   Defensive rebound by Thon Maker  
1:25   Langston Galloway missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:22   Defensive rebound by Michael Porter Jr.  
1:01 +2 Monte Morris made floating jump shot 23-27
0:37   Thon Maker missed jump shot  
0:35   Defensive rebound by Michael Porter Jr.  
0:28   Bad pass turnover on Michael Porter Jr., stolen by Thon Maker  
0:24   Derrick Walton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:22   DEN team rebound  
0:00 +2 Jamal Murray made jump shot 23-29
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:42   Thon Maker missed layup  
11:39   Defensive rebound by Jerami Grant  
11:31 +2 Mason Plumlee made alley-oop shot, assist by Jamal Murray 23-31
11:15 +3 Derrick Rose made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Svi Mykhailiuk 26-31
10:55   Personal foul on Svi Mykhailiuk  
10:46 +2 Michael Porter Jr. made driving layup 26-33
10:25   Svi Mykhailiuk missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:21   Offensive rebound by Christian Wood  
10:20   Christian Wood missed dunk, blocked by Mason Plumlee  
10:20   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
10:13 +2 Monte Morris made layup, assist by Mason Plumlee 26-35
10:00   Christian Wood missed layup  
9:57   Defensive rebound by Michael Porter Jr.  
9:45   Personal foul on Derrick Rose  
9:42   Personal foul on Sekou Doumbouya  
9:34 +2 Michael Porter Jr. made jump shot 26-37
9:19 +2 Derrick Rose made driving layup 28-37
9:03   3-second violation turnover on Mason Plumlee  
8:48   Bad pass turnover on Derrick Rose, stolen by Monte Morris  
8:39 +2 Jerami Grant made dunk, assist by Michael Porter Jr. 28-39
8:39   Full timeout called  
8:20   Sekou Doumbouya missed jump shot  
8:17   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
8:03 +2 Michael Porter Jr. made dunk, assist by Gary Harris 28-41
7:47   Derrick Rose missed floating jump shot  
7:44   Offensive rebound by Christian Wood  
7:44   Shooting foul on Michael Porter Jr.  
7:44 +1 Christian Wood made 2nd of 2 free throws 30-41
7:22   Personal foul on Tony Snell  
7:14   Bad pass turnover on Monte Morris, stolen by Derrick Rose  
7:10 +2 Christian Wood made alley-oop shot, assist by Derrick Rose 32-41
6:55   Out of bounds turnover on Michael Porter Jr.  
6:36 +2 Tony Snell made jump shot, assist by Derrick Rose 34-41
6:19 +2 Jerami Grant made driving layup, assist by Monte Morris 34-43
6:06 +2 Derrick Rose made driving layup 36-43
5:53   Personal foul on Christian Wood  
5:53   Mason Plumlee missed 1st of 2 free throws  
5:53   DEN team rebound  
5:53 +1 Mason Plumlee made 2nd of 2 free throws 36-44
5:39   Derrick Rose missed jump shot  
5:36   Defensive rebound by Mason Plumlee  
5:30   Traveling violation turnover on Will Barton  
5:21   Violation  
5:08   Out of bounds turnover on Khyri Thomas  
4:57   Gary Harris missed layup  
4:56   Defensive rebound by Donta Hall  
4:50 +2 Derrick Rose made layup 38-44
4:32 +2 Nikola Jokic made hook shot, assist by Jamal Murray 38-46
4:32   Shooting foul on Derrick Rose  
4:32 +1 Nikola Jokic made free throw 38-47
4:16   Derrick Rose missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:12   Offensive rebound by Donta Hall  
4:10   Khyri Thomas missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:06   Offensive rebound by Derrick Rose  
3:57   Offensive foul on Christian Wood  
3:57   Turnover on Christian Wood  
3:57   Full timeout called  
3:48   Jamal Murray missed driving layup  
3:48   Jamal Murray missed driving layup  
3:46   Defensive rebound by Brandon Knight  
3:39 +3 Svi Mykhailiuk made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Brandon Knight 41-47
3:18   Lost ball turnover on Nikola Jokic, stolen by Tony Snell  
3:13   Lost ball turnover on Brandon Knight, stolen by Will Barton  
3:11   Out of bounds turnover on Will Barton  
2:57   Bad pass turnover on Donta Hall, stolen by Gary Harris  
2:52 +2 Gary Harris made dunk 41-49
2:46   Svi Mykhailiuk missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:42   Defensive rebound by Jamal Murray  
2:36   Personal foul on Tony Snell  
2:36 +1 Nikola Jokic made 1st of 2 free throws 41-50
2:36 +1 Nikola Jokic made 2nd of 2 free throws 41-51
2:13   Tony Snell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:11   Offensive rebound by Tony Snell  
2:09 +3 Brandon Knight made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Tony Snell 44-51
1:54   Offensive foul on Paul Millsap  
1:54   Turnover on Paul Millsap  
1:40   Svi Mykhailiuk missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:37   Defensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
1:31   Shooting foul on Donta Hall  
1:31 +1 Will Barton made 1st of 2 free throws 44-52
1:31 +1 Will Barton made 2nd of 2 free throws 44-53
1:18   Bad pass turnover on Svi Mykhailiuk, stolen by Nikola Jokic  
1:12   Shooting foul on Svi Mykhailiuk  
1:12 +1 Nikola Jokic made 1st of 2 free throws 44-54
1:12 +1 Nikola Jokic made 2nd of 2 free throws 44-55
1:02   Brandon Knight missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:58   Defensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
0:52 +2 Jerami Grant made alley-oop shot, assist by Nikola Jokic 44-57
0:36   Shooting foul on Nikola Jokic  
0:36 +1 Donta Hall made 1st of 2 free throws 45-57
0:36 +1 Donta Hall made 2nd of 2 free throws 46-57
0:23   Personal foul on Donta Hall  
0:23 +1 Jamal Murray made 1st of 2 free throws 46-58
0:23 +1 Jamal Murray made 2nd of 2 free throws 46-59
0:00   Tony Snell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   DET team rebound  
0:00   DET team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:37   Shooting foul on Nikola Jokic  
11:37 +1 Derrick Rose made 1st of 2 free throws 47-59
11:37 +1 Derrick Rose made 2nd of 2 free throws 48-59
11:14 +2 Nikola Jokic made jump shot 48-61
10:58   Derrick Rose missed jump shot  
10:54   Defensive rebound by Jamal Murray  
10:43   Jamal Murray missed driving layup  
10:40   Offensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
10:40   Nikola Jokic missed dunk  
10:39   Defensive rebound by Christian Wood  
10:38   Bad pass turnover on Christian Wood, stolen by Nikola Jokic  
10:30 +2 Paul Millsap made driving layup, assist by Will Barton 48-63
10:05   John Henson missed hook shot  
10:03   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
9:53   Personal foul on John Henson  
9:41   Jamal Murray missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:38   Offensive rebound by Nikola Jokic  
9:31   Paul Millsap missed layup, blocked by Christian Wood  
9:28   Offensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
9:25   Bad pass turnover on Nikola Jokic, stolen by Svi Mykhailiuk  
9:25   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
9:25   Jamal Murray missed free throw  
9:25   DET team rebound  
9:15   Out of bounds turnover on John Henson  
8:58   Jamal Murray missed jump shot  
8:52   Offensive rebound by Gary Harris  
8:52   Gary Harris missed dunk  
8:51   Defensive rebound by John Henson  
8:40 +2 Christian Wood made finger-roll layup, assist by Derrick Rose 50-63
8:27   Paul Millsap missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:25   DEN team rebound  
8:25   Personal foul on John Henson  
8:19 +2 Paul Millsap made dunk, assist by Jamal Murray 50-65
8:03 +2 Derrick Rose made driving layup 52-65
8:03   Full timeout called  
7:39   Nikola Jokic missed fade-away jump shot  
7:35   Defensive rebound by Tony Snell  
7:20 +3 Svi Mykhailiuk made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Christian Wood 55-65
7:05   Traveling violation turnover on Paul Millsap  
6:53   Shooting foul on Will Barton  
6:53 +1 Derrick Rose made 1st of 3 free throws 56-65
6:53 +1 Derrick Rose made 2nd of 3 free throws 57-65
6:53 +1 Derrick Rose made 3rd of 3 free throws 58-65
6:33   Bad pass turnover on Nikola Jokic, stolen by Derrick Rose  
6:30   Lost ball turnover on Derrick Rose, stolen by Jamal Murray  
6:25   Paul Millsap missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:24   DET team rebound  
6:10   Svi Mykhailiuk missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:07   DEN team rebound  
5:57   Paul Millsap missed floating jump shot  
5:55   Defensive rebound by John Henson  
5:47   Shooting foul on Paul Millsap  
5:47 +1 Christian Wood made 1st of 2 free throws 59-65
5:47   Christian Wood missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
5:44   Defensive rebound by Will Barton  
5:34   Gary Harris missed floating jump shot  
5:29   Offensive rebound by Paul Millsap  
5:29 +2 Paul Millsap made dunk 59-67
5:16   Lost ball turnover on Christian Wood, stolen by Monte Morris  
5:08 +3 Gary Harris made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Monte Morris 59-70
5:06   Full timeout called  
4:51