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Millsap has 25 points as Nuggets beat Timberwolves, 128-116

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) goes up for a shot against Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid (11) during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game. Photo: AP/Jack Dempsey
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) goes up for a shot against Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid (11) during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game.

Updated: February 23, 2020 08:22 PM

Paul Millsap scored a season-high 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting, and the Denver Nuggets bounced back from their first loss in the Northwest Division to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 128-116 on Sunday night.

Millsap made his first six shots of the game before missing with 54 seconds left in the first half.

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Nikola Jokic was nearly as sharp, making all six of his shots in the first half and going 11 of 14 from the field. He finished with 24 points and Jamal Murray had 19.

Denver shot 58.9% after hitting 68.2% in the first half.

The Timberwolves had only nine players available. D’Angelo Russell sat out for rest while Karl-Anthony Towns is out for at least two weeks with a hairline fracture in his left wrist. Kelan Martin had 19 of his career-high 21 points in the first half for Minnesota, which has lost 31 of its last 37.

It was the first game in Denver for Malik Beasley and Juancho Hernangomez since the Nuggets traded them, along with Jarred Vanderbilt, to Minnesota on Feb. 6.

Beasley had 12 points at halftime but scored just five in the second half.

Minnesota stayed with Denver despite the short rotation and led 60-56 midway through the second quarter before the Nuggets used a 15-3 run to take a 73-65 lead at halftime. They stretched it to a 10-point advantage after three and opened up a 106-91 lead early in the fourth.

The Timberwolves scored nine straight to get back into it but Denver went on a 22-2 run to put it away.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: The Nuggets showed a video tribute to Beasley, Hernangomez and Vanderbilt during a timeout in the first quarter. ... F Allen Crabbe was out for personal reasons. ... Coach Ryan Saunders said he expects Russell to play Monday night at Dallas.

Nuggets: The 73 points in the first half were a season high. ... Denver is now 10-1 against the Northwest Division. ... Coach Michael Malone said rookie Michael Porter Jr. is not fully recovered from the right ankle injury that cost him the last six games before the All-Star break. “I think we have a locker room full of guys who aren’t 100 percent,” Malone said. “Who is at this point of the season?”

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: Play at Dallas on Monday night.

Nuggets: Host the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night..

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Credits

Associated Press

(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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