The Oklahoma City Thunder (44-32) were defeated by the Denver Nuggets (51-24) on Friday night in Oklahoma City, falling by a final score of 115-105. The Nuggets completed the 4-0 season sweep with the victory, led by Jamal Murray’s 27 points, and Nikola Jokic’s 23 points and 16 rebounds. Russell Westbrook tallied 27 points (11/22 FG, 1/5 3P), nine rebounds, and nine assists in the losing effort, with Paul George adding 25 points (10/22 FG, 2/7 3P) despite being questionable with shoulder soreness.
The Thunder led just once in the contest — 25-24 near the end of the first quarter — and spent the rest of the night playing catch-up. The hot-shooting Nuggets built an 11-point lead in the second quarter on the efforts of Murray and Jokic, as the duo combined for 25 points in the opening half. Despite OKC rallying to tie it 68-68 on a Jerami Grant 3-pointer at the 6:40 mark of the third, Denver regained composure and built a 14-point advantage early in the fourth.
Paul George and Russell Westbrook did their best to rally the troops late, combining for 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting in the final frame to bring OKC within six with three minutes to play. However, it was too little, too late, as the Nuggets shot 67% and knocked down 4-of-7 from long range in the fourth to clinch the season series convincingly.
The Nuggets moved into a tie with Golden State atop the Western Conference standings with the win. With the loss, OKC has fallen back into 8th.