Paul Millsap scored 23 points and hit all nine of his free throws, Will Barton and Jamal Murray added 22 points each, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Phoenix Suns 116-104 on Sunday night.
Mason Plumlee had 14 points, Monte Morris finished with 10 and Nikola Jokic had eight points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets, who have won five straight.
Cheick Diallo scored a career-high 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting, Dario Saric had 18 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, and Elie Okobo had a season-high 16 points. Phoenix guard Devin Booker was held to a season-low 12 points a night after scoring 35 in a win at Minnesota on Saturday.
The Suns played without guard Ricky Rubio (back spasms) and center Aron Baynes (right hip flexor strain) for the third straight game. Rubio has missed four of the last five games, and Baynes has sat for four straight.
Neither team shot well to start the second half, but Denver got some momentum behind Barton’s 12 points in the third quarter. His corner 3-pointer with 3:28 left in the period tied it at 72, and then Jerami Grant’s layup gave Denver its first lead since late in the first quarter.
The Suns came back to take a two-point lead early in the fourth, but Plumlee had two putback dunks and two assists to help the Nuggets grab a 88-85 lead.
Gary Harris drained a 3-pointer, and after Diallo hit a short jumper, Denver scored seven straight to go ahead by 10. Booker made a 3-pointer — his first after six misses — to pull Phoenix within eight.
Harris split a pair of free throws, and Murray and Millsap hit 3-pointers around a Phoenix turnover to put Denver ahead 113-98 and all but end it.
Okobo reached his season high in the first half with 11 points, three of which came on a 30-foot buzzer-beater to tie the game at 28 after the first quarter.
Phoenix led by as many as seven in the second quarter, but Jokic’s putback just beat the halftime horn and got Denver within 57-52.