Gallinari and Barton lead Nuggets past 76ers, 106-98
PHILADELPHIA — A dejected Will Barton walked toward the bench, but the Denver Nuggets guard got a reprieve because it wasn’t a substitution opportunity for his team. With a second chance, Barton responded in a huge way.
Barton scored 22 points, including a big 3-pointer late, to lead Denver to a 106-98 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
Danilo Gallinari led Denver with 24 points and Jamal Murray added 22 for the Nuggets, who won for just the second time in the last seven games. It was their second contest of a six-game road trip.
Ersan Ilyasova, Sergio Rodriguez and Dario Saric all had 17 points for Philadelphia, which culminated a four-game homestand with its seventh straight defeat.
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Murray was waiting at the scorer’s table after Barton missed all four shots early in the third quarter. Barton had to quickly turn around and play defense after realizing Murray wasn’t entering.
From that point, Barton was 6 of 7 and tallied 16 points.
“I have to use that trick more often for some of our guys,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone joked. “Will ramped it up and played well and I took Jamal (back). Will got the message and he picked up his defensive intensity and was all over the place.”
Barton was glad to stay in the game.
“I walked off the court but they didn’t let him in yet and that kind of saved me,” he said. “Jamal was my motivation. I had a tough little beginning to the third, but I’m a guy who can play through my mistakes. I made up for them, got my energy going, picked it up and coach let me stay out there.”
Wilson Chandler, Denver’s leading scorer at 18.6 points per game entering Monday, was scoreless until tallying 10 straight points beginning with a 3-pointer with 8:24 remaining that made it 84-74. He matched the Nuggets’ largest lead with another 3 that made it 89-78 with 6:25 left.
Joel Embiid’s 3-pointer cut it to four, but Barton all but put the game away with a 3 of his own on Denver’s next possession, making it 103-96 with 49 seconds to play.
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The game featured Murray and Embiid, the NBA’s Western and Eastern Conference rookies of the month for October/November. Embiid finished with 16 points.
Embiid returned after sitting out Saturday’s 107-106 loss to Boston, the seventh game he has missed this season due to the team’s rehab plan not to play him on back-to-back nights after he was sidelined for his first two seasons with a foot injury. The 7-foot-2 center will not make the trip to Memphis, where the 76ers will play on Tuesday night.
The game was a slump buster for Murray, who was 1 for 11 with two points combined in his last two contests. He went 8 for 12, including 3 for 7 from the arc.
The highlight of the third period was Murray’s 17-foot underhanded scoop shot that just beat the shot clock.
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown bemoaned the club’s 14 second-half turnovers. The 76ers finished with 19 for the game.
“There’s a lot of things that led to the loss, (and) I think that’s the major one,” he said. “The abundance of turnovers in a single half, it’s hard to find a way to win with that volume of turnovers.”
Nuggets: Nikola Jokic (wrist) missed his third straight game and Gary Harris (foot) sat out his 12th in a row. … Nelson, who attended nearby Saint Joseph’s University, received a warm ovation when he entered in the first quarter.
76ers: The 76ers were without Jahlil Okafor, who was sick. Okafor won’t make the trip to Memphis for Tuesday’s game. … Robert Covington (knee) missed his second straight game and Jerryd Bayless (wrist) sat out for the 18th time this season. … Embiid was whistled for a technical after sending Kenneth Faried to the floor early in the third quarter.
Nuggets: Will try to end a five-game losing streak against the Nets when they visit Brooklyn on Wednesday night.
76ers: Tuesday night at Memphis, where Philadelphia will try to avenge a 104-99 double-overtime loss at home on Nov. 23
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