Jo­kic scores 31, Nuggets beat Rock­ets 136-122


Dthe first quar­ter but then went cold. He missed 10 of his next 11 shots and also missed four free throws.

He hit two 3-point­ers in the fourth quar­ter to pull Hous­ton within nine points, but Jo­kic scored six straight points to put it away. Har­den’s step­back 3-pointer with 1:05 left gave him 30.

Tor­rey Craig had a ca­reer-high 22 points for the Rock­ets, who scored 43 points in the first quar­ter. The Nuggets re­sponded in the sec­ond with a 48-point out­burst. They had 35 of those in the fi­nal 7:31 when they trans­formed a five-point deficit into an 83-71 lead at half­time.

Den­ver led by 20 in the third quar­ter, but the Rock­ets got within nine twice be­fore the Nuggets pulled away.

Rock­ets: Ken­neth Faried scored a sea­son­high 23 points against his for­mer team . ... The 43 points in the first pe­riod were a sea­son best for a quar­ter. ... Hous­ton is be­ing care­ful with guard Chris Paul, who missed 17 games with a ham­string strain, so he will “prob­a­bly” sit out Satur­day’s game at Utah, coach Mike D’An­toni said. “It’s not def­i­nite but he prob­a­bly won’t play,” D’An­toni said.

Nuggets: Den­ver’s 48-point sec­ond quar­ter matched its high­est since March 16, 2008, against the Seat­tle Su­perSon­ics . ... Guard Gary Har­ris was out due to a right ad­duc­tor strain. Har­ris missed 11 games in De­cem­ber with a hip in­jury and five more in Jan­uary with left ham­string sore­ness.

Guard Ja­mal Mur­ray (left an­kle sprain) missed his fourth straight game and prob­a­bly won’t re­turn soon. Mur­ray is known for his abil­ity to play through pain, so there is con­cern about how long he will be out.

“Ja­mal is a guy we’re not used to see miss games, so you know it’s a re­ally se­ri­ous in­jury he’s deal­ing with,” coach Michael Malone said.

“I def­i­nitely have con­cern with Ja­mal’s an­kle, but I know that he’ll come back ready and he’ll help us out mov­ing for­ward.

Rock­ets: Play at Utah on Satur­day night.

Nuggets: Play at North­west Di­vi­sion ri­val Min­nesota on Satur­day.

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