Chris Paul scores 29 points, leads Thunder past Nuggets

Chris Paul scores 29 points, leads Thunder past Nuggets
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) reaches for a rebound with Denver Nuggets forward Torrey Craig, rear, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Chris Paul scored 29 points, Steven Adams had 19 points and 17 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Denver Nuggets 113-101 on Friday night.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 11 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Thunder. They have won 11 of their past 14 games.

Nikola Jokic scored 32 points on 12-for-15 shooting and Jamal Murray added 21 points for the Nuggets. They entered the night with the second-best record in the Western Conference.

Paul banked in a shot and was fouled with 2.7 seconds left in the first half to tie it, but missed the free throw and the score remained 48-all at halftime.

The Thunder opened the second half on a 9-1 run that forced the Nuggets to call a timeout. Denver responded, and a 10-0 run cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 60-59.

A steal and dunk by Oklahoma City’s Luguentz Dort sent the floor cleanup crew scrambling and gave the Thunder a 66-61 lead.

Paul was fouled on a made 3-pointer, and his free throw put Oklahoma City up 72-65. The Thunder took a 78-77 edge into the fourth quarter.

Oklahoma City, as it has done so often this season, took over in the final period. A dunk by Nerlens Noel on a lob from Dennis Schroder put the Thunder up 95-85. A dunk by Adams gave Oklahoma City a 109-97 edge with just under two minutes remaining.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Former Thunder player Jerami Grant received a nice ovation from the crowd when he checked into the game in the first quarter. Oklahoma City traded him to Denver this past summer. … Missed all seven of their 3-point attempts in the first quarter and made just 6 of 27 overall.

Thunder: Dort made the first 3-pointer by either team more than eight minutes into the game. … Former University of Oklahoma tight end Blake Bell of the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs attended the game. … Gallinari was called for a flagrant 1 in the second quarter.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Host Minnesota on Sunday.

Thunder: Host San Antonio on Sunday.

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter @CliffBruntAP.