The Denver Nuggets rallied for a 128-125 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night, thanks to another monster triple-double from Nikola Jokic and a pivotal dunk by Aaron Gordon that stood up after a review.
Jokic recorded his 83rd career triple-double with 41 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists. A week ago, the two-time NBA MVP had a 40-point, 27-rebound, 10-assist performance.
Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns played only 4:20 in his return from a groyne injury, scoring two points after scoring 58 against New Orleans in his previous start.
Denver’s Jamal Murray tied the game with 10.7 seconds remaining on a dunk. However, it was Gordon’s overtime dunk that propelled the Nuggets to victory. He was initially called for an offensive foul, but a review determined that Landry Shamet was moving, allowing Gordon to score and get a free throw.
Phoenix had a chance to tie it in the final seconds of overtime, but fumbled a pass.
The Suns, who led by 12 points in the third quarter, had a chance to win in regulation, but Mikal Bridges was called for an offensive foul after colliding with a Denver player. Bridges made amends by blocking Murray’s shot seconds before the buzzer.
The Nuggets improved to 2-6 in Christmas games. The other victory came against Seattle in 1994.
Shamet came off the bench to score 31 points, matching his career high, on a night when the Suns lost Booker to a groyne injury for the second time. Booker had just returned to the court after missing the previous three games due to groyne pain.
Phoenix had six players in double figures, led by Deandre Ayton’s 22 points and 16 rebounds. Chris Paul scored 17 points and dished out 16 assists, but he missed five free throws.
Gordon had 28 points and Murray had 26.
Early in the game, the Nuggets led by 15 points. Shamet scored 15 points in the second quarter to help Phoenix regain control of the game.
Gordon finished 11 of 18 from the field, while Jokic finished 16 of 25. Both players extended their shooting streaks to 23 games. 500 or better from the field, breaking Nene’s franchise record set in 2010-11.
The first of four meetings between the two groups. Last season, the Suns defeated the Nuggets 2-1.
TIP-INS: Phoenix guard Cameron Payne (sprained right foot) and forward Cam Johnson (torn meniscus) worked out on Christmas morning. Payne hasn’t played since December 13 and Johnson hasn’t played since November 4. “We’re excited right now,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “But we also understand that we must wait.”