Thunder Lose Second Straight on Road, Nuggets Stay on Top in West
The Oklahoma City Thunder fell behind early and never could catch the Denver Nuggets in the final three quarters, as Denver remained atop the Western Conference standings, beating OKC 109-98 on Friday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
The Thunder came into the game just a half game behind the Nuggets for the top spot in the West, but Denver, even without several players out with injury, took the lead early in the game and never gave it up.
Denver built a 12-point lead in the second quarter, led by eight at halftime, and kept the Thunder at bay in the second half.
OKC cut the lead to two in the third quarter and three in the fourth quarter.
The Thunder couldn’t cool down the Nuggets hot shooting.
Denver shot 51 percent from the field and made 11 3-pointers, 7 coming in the first quarter.
The Thunder shot just 41 percent and made only seven 3-pointers.
Paul George led OKC with 32 points and made three 3-pointers.
Steven Adams had 26 points, 17 coming in the first quarter, and added 14 rebounds.
Russell Westbrook had 13 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists, but was just 5-of-15 from the field.
Two other Thunder players were in double figures scoring, with Jerami Grant scoring 13 and Dennis Schroder had 11 off the bench.
Nikola Jokic led Denver with 24 points and 15 rebounds.
The Nuggets improved to 19-9 and are 2-0 vs. the Thunder this season.
The Thunder have lost two in a row and three of their last four, dropping to 17-10 on the season.
OKC has a quick turn-around, hosting the L.A. Clippers at 8:00 pm on Saturday night at Chesapeake Arena.