JAMAL MURRAY, NIKOLA JOKIC HELP NUGGETS ROUT THUNDER 126-96


OKLAHOMA CITY AP — Jamal Murray continued his hot scoring with 26 points and Nikola Jokic had his eighth triple-double of the season to help the Denver Nuggets rout the Oklahoma City Thunder 126-96 on Saturday night. . Murray, averaging 30.1 points in his previous seven games, made 9 of 15 field goals and Denver shot 55%. . Jokic had 19 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists. Michael Porter Jr. added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Will Barton scored 15 points. . Darius Bazley had 22 points for the Thunder. Ty Jerome and Isaiah Roby added 15 each. . Denver, loser of four of its past six games and six of seven on the road, controlled this one from the outset in beating the Thunder for the third time in three tries this season. . “I felt tonight was Denver Nuggets basketball,” coach Michael Malone said. “We played for each other. I told the guys, we have to get back to being a team that’s hard to guard.”. . Oklahoma City had no answers. Porter, who had an 18-10 double-double in a home loss to Washington on Thursday night, made all four of his 3-point shots in the first quarter and scored 14 points as the Nuggets led by as many as 23. . The two-point loss to Washington was painful, as the Nuggets had a 4-on-1 breakaway opportunity in the final seconds but settled for a 3-pointer that missed badly. . “It just shows what kind of team we can be when we’re locked in and focused and all on the same page,” Barton said. . Jokic said that in the NBA, “you need to forget things really quick. The next one is coming so fast you cant think about it.”. . The Thunder’s second unit, led by Jerome and Roby, helped cut the deficit to 47-36 midway through the second quarter. But the Nuggets ended the half on an 18-7 run, including 3-pointers by Porter and Murray, and held the Thunder to one basket in the final 3.45. . “We got off to a rough start, but it’s a long game,” Bazley said. “Defensively we were just trying to figure it out.”. . That didn’t happen. Jokic scored nine of his points in the third quarter when Denver pushed the lead beyond 30, which allowed Jokic, Murray and the other starters to take it easy the rest of the way. . “I think we moved the ball really well, we were finding open shots, we were making the shots,” Jokic said. “We had some flow in our offense, so it was really easy to play when you play like that.”. . TIP-INS. . Nuggets. P.J. Dozier, who had missed 15 games with a right hamstring strain, scored nine points. … The Nuggets were again without Paul Millsap, JaMychal Green and Gary Harris, all nursing injuries. … This was the first of a four-game trip before the All-Star break. …. . Thunder. The Thunder were 11 of 47 from 3-point range. … The game ended a four-game homestand. The Thunder do not play at home again until March 11, following the All-Star break. . SHUTTING DOWN SHAI. . Gilgeous-Alexander came in averaging 23.6 points per game. He had scored a career-high 42 against San Antonio on Wednesday and 24 Friday against Atlanta. . STAT LINE. . The Nuggets went 15-of-31 on 3-pointers. Denver led 13-0 after 3 minutes, thanks to 3-pointers by Porter, Barton and Monte Morris, and 24-6 after 7 minutes. … The Nuggets outrebounded the Thunder 49-37, and had 30 assists. . UP NEXT. . Nuggets. At Chicago on Monday night. . Thunder. At Dallas on Wednesday night.

Wiggins gives Wiseman advice to become star alongside legends


ames Wiseman has had some impressive moments early on in his rookie season, but he still has a lot to learn if he is going to reach his lofty ceiling.J. . Andrew Wiggins knows all about the expectations that come with being a high draft pick. The Warriors forward was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Wiggins was a good player during his five-plus seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves but didnt become the franchise star many pegged him as and eventually was shipped to Golden State last February. . Wiggins won the Rookie of the Year award during his inaugural campaign, something Wiseman has his eye on, and the Kansas product gave the 19-year-old center some advice on chasing the award and how to become the star hes supposed to alongside Steph Curry and Draymond Green. . Just keep playing hard, playing smart and keep wanting to get better, Wiggins said. Hes around great guys, around Steph and Draymond, around legends. So hes going to learn a lot. Its a process. Theres a lot of up and downs in that rookie season but once you find yourself and become confident the sky is going to be the limit for him. Theres so much he can do and how raw he is — the stuff he does, he doesnt even know hes doing it. So when he figures it all out and becomes who hes supposed to be, hes going to be a superstar. . Through 22 games, Wiseman has flashed the athleticism, versatility and scoring acumen that had the Warriors salivating when he fell to them at No. 2 in the draft. After playing in just three games at Memphis, Wiseman still is a work in progress and the Warriors are bringing him along at his own pace. Hes had incredible games followed by NBA learning experiences which is all part of being a rookie. . . Wiseman has a chance to make a statement in the Rookie of the Year race Friday when he faces LaMelo Ball, who the Charlotte Hornets selected one pick after Wiseman, at Chase Center. Ball and Wiseman will be forever linked as their NBA careers evolve. While Ball has silenced all his doubters right out of the gate, how Wiseman develops will determine whether or not the Warriors made the right call in passing on Ball. As for Wiggins, hes following his own advice and soaking up his time alongside Curry and Green with his eyes on a lofty goal for next season when Klay Thompson returns to the fold. . Its great playing with Steph and Dray, Wiseman said. Guys that have multiple championships, know the game of basketball, legends in the game. Just learning from them, being alongside them, battling, competing every day and thats the end result. Hopefully, we can keep pushing and make a run to the ship, especially when Klay comes back.