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NBA: Rockets win sixth straight, topple Nuggets

Fred VanVleet Rockets NBA

Houston Rockets’ Fred VanVleet (5) passes the ball as Denver Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. (1) and Nikola Jokic defend through the second half of an NBA basketball sport Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, in Houston. The Rockets received 107-104. (AP Picture/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON — Fred VanVleet scored 26 factors and Alperen Sengun added 23 to steer the Houston Rockets to a 107-104 win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday evening.

Houston’s six-game profitable streak is the longest since January 2021.

Nikola Jokic had his fourth triple-double of the season, racking up 36 factors, 21 rebounds and 11 assists within the loss.

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Jokic hit a 3 with 19.1 seconds remaining to chop Houston’s result in 103-102. He had a full-court shot on the buzzer to tie it however fell brief.

The Nuggets entered the sport 8-1, their greatest begin because the 2018-19 season. The Rockets improved to 6-3 after beginning the season 0-3.

“We’re getting higher,” VanVleet stated. “We are able to really feel the pattern trending upward, we’re making an attempt to get extra issues carried out that the coaches are asking us to do, and we’re executing at a better and better stage every trip.”

Rockets veteran Jeff Inexperienced hit an enormous 3 with 1:49 left within the fourth, placing Houston up 103-94. Inexperienced appeared in all 20 playoff video games throughout Denver’s championship run final season. Inexperienced scored 15 factors off the bench Sunday.

“He clearly made massive photographs and was attacking the basket,” Rockets coach Ime Udoka stated. “But additionally, all week, he had a ton of recommendation and expertise, and he was on the market being the quarterback on protection, calling out their units and what they have been stepping into. He had that familiarity with the workforce and clearly that was useful, nevertheless it was nice to see him come via down the stretch, end the sport and make some massive photographs. I’m glad for him.”

Denver entered the fourth quarter with a 76-74 lead because of a 20-foot jumper from Collin Gillespie with 2 seconds left within the third.

Sengun added eight rebounds and 5 assists, whereas capturing 9 of 18 from the sphere.

“I feel it’s factor that they’re enjoying extra via him,” Jokic stated of Sengun. “I feel it’s going to profit their entire group. He’s a man who shouldn’t be egocentric, he desires to play for the workforce, he desires to cross, and the entire workforce goes to maneuver when the ball is in his fingers. He performed actually good at the moment.”

Behind Jokic, Michael Porter Jr. scored 25 factors, Aaron Gordon had 16 and Reggie Jackson added 14.

“The best problem that now we have is we’re making an attempt to compete for a championship but in addition develop 4 younger gamers off the bench,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone stated. “That’s insanely onerous as a result of younger gamers are going to have nights like tonight, and you must proceed to help them and assist them in any means which you could, and that’s what we’re going to do. We all know these guys are succesful.”

Houston has received two in a row towards Denver following a 10-game shedding streak.

“It offers us one other feather in our cap,” Udoka stated. “It offers us expertise with late-game execution and getting the photographs we wish and defending. I’m pleased with how we completed. They did hit some robust photographs, however that’s anticipated from a championship-caliber workforce.”

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Host the Los Angeles Clippers as a part of the NBA In-Season Event play on Tuesday evening.

Rockets: Open up a three-game California street journey with the Clippers on Friday evening.

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