Barton leads Nuggets past Pelicans 117-111 in OT
DENVER — Gary Harris had 21 points and Will Barton added 11 of his 19 in overtime, helping the Denver Nuggets beat the New Orleans Pelicans 117-111 on Friday night.
Barton went 4 for 4 from the field in the extra period and had all of the Nuggets’ points in the frame until Jamal Murray’s two free throws made it 116-110 with 25 seconds remaining.
The Nuggets, who trailed by as many as 18, improved to 11-2 at home.
Trey Lyles also had 19 points and Nikola Jokic returned from a seven-game absence with a left ankle sprain and had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Murray added 15 points.
DeMarcus Cousins led New Orleans with 29 points and Anthony Davis had 28 points and 12 rebounds. Jrue Holiday added 25 points.
The Nuggets erased a 10-point deficit in the final quarter as Mason Plumlee’s consecutive dunks put Denver up 100-96 with 2:47 remaining.
In the final minute of regulation, Cousins converted a three-point play to put the Pelicans up 104-102 before Plumlee tied the game with another dunk seconds later. Torrey Craig then blocked Holiday’s jumper at the buzzer to force overtime.
Denver welcomed back Jokic with a loud roar as he came onto the court with 5:32 left in the opening quarter. He was then immediately welcomed back by Davis.
Davis beat Jokic off the dribble for a dunk-and-one in the first before stuffing a short hook shot a few minutes later. The last time Davis and Jokic shared the court was Nov. 18 when Jokic inadvertently head butted Davis, giving him a concussion.
Denver was 3-4 without Jokic.
Davis had 14 points, six rebounds and two blocks in the opening quarter to help push New Orleans out to a 33-20 lead. He slowed down in the second, but the Pelicans continued to build their lead to 58-40.
The Nuggets scored six straight in the final 1:01 of the half to cut the deficit to 58-46.
Pelicans: Cousins and Holiday each hit five 3s. … New Orleans had 19 turnovers.
Nuggets: Torrey Craig made his first career start and scored six points. . The Nuggets held a moment of silence before the game after last week’s passing of former player Roland “Fatty” Taylor. Taylor, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, was 71.
Pelicans: Will continue their four-game trip in Washington on Tuesday night.
Nuggets: Will travel to face Oklahoma on Monday night.