DENVER (AP) — Jamal Murray scored 22 of his 25 points in the third quarter, Nikola Jokic finished two rebounds shy of another triple-double and the Denver Nuggets cruised past Chicago 135-105 on Thursday night for their 12th straight home win over the Bulls.
Chicago hasn’t knocked off the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center since Feb. 8, 2006. The Bulls also remain winless in 2019, with their losing streak stretching to nine in a row.
Jokic had 18 points and 11 assists as the Nuggets bounced back from a 142-111 drubbing Tuesday at the hands of Golden State in a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference.
Lauri Markkanen scored 27 for a Chicago team that finished up a fruitless five-game trip.
The Nuggets showed no residual effects from the lopsided loss to the Warriors, in which they allowed an NBA-record, 51-point first quarter. Denver picked up the defensive intensity from the start and limited the Bulls to 47 points at halftime.
Denver led by as many as 40.
Jokic did a little bit of everything, including a move where he went around the waist with the ball to avoid a defender and drew a foul while making the shot. That kicked up chants of “M-V-P!”
The 7-footer from Serbia didn’t have his best shooting night, though, missing several easy baskets in finishing 6 of 18 from the field.
Bulls coach Jim Boylen took a “charge” late in the first quarter, when Torrey Craig fell on top of him after tumbling out of bounds. The ball was awarded to Chicago.
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