Slow-Starting Sixers Allow 44 Points In First Quarter In 104-95 Loss To Nuggets – CBS Philly
DENVER (AP) – Jamal Murray scored 30 points, Michael Porter Jr. added 27 and the Denver Nuggets took a 25 point lead on Tuesday night on their way to a 104-95 win over the slow-starting Philadelphia 76ers.
Nikola Jokic added 21 points for the nuggets, which played in front of a home crowd for the first time since the pandemic that ended the 2019-20 season in mid-March last year.
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Reserve Tyrese Maxey led the Sixers with 13 points, all in the fourth quarter.
The much-anticipated matchup between the East-leading Sixers and the rejuvenated Nuggets, which made the biggest headlines at close of trading with the new additions of Aaron Gordon and JaVale McGee, was quickly shaped by Denver’s first-quarter rally.
Murray scored 16 points and Porter had 15 when the Nuggets popped out a 44-22 lead after a quarter.
Porter sank another pair of Highlight 3s in the second quarter. The first time it came when he grabbed the rebound in the paint, pulled back into the arch and waved the 3-pointer that put it on 57-36. Next time he sat on the opposite elbow and sunk another to put the nuggets 24 up.
Before the nuggets led into the locker room at 68-45, Jokic stepped to the free throw line and was greeted by chants from “MVP! MVP! MVP! “from the first crowd in the Ball Arena since the pandemic that ended the 2019-20 season more than a year ago.
The crowd consisted of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment staff and health care professionals who have been on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.
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Denver trainer Michael Malone welcomed the rowdies back to the arena formerly known as the Pepsi Center, usually one of the loudest venues in the NBA.
The 76ers ended the third quarter on a 10-2 run, which they expanded to 16-4, and reduced Denver’s lead to 90-77 before Murray scored seven hits for the Nuggets.
76ers: Despite Joel Embid’s injury, the 76ers were one of the hottest teams in the league. They had won 14 of their last 18 games in Denver. … Dwight Howard picked up a Flagrant 1 foul pounding Will Barton in the final seconds of the first half.
Nuggets: Denver has gone 14-5 despite numerous injuries since mid-February. … Paul Millsap, Porter, PJ Dozier and Murray lost three seconds during the 12-3 run in Denver at the end of the first quarter.
76ers: End a six-game trip with a visit to Cleveland Thursday night.
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Nuggets: Head to the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night before returning to Denver for a five-game homestand.