By Aaron Bracy, Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points and Will Barton had 22, including a big 3-pointer late, to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 106-98 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
Jamal Murray added 22 points 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.
The game featured Murray and Joel 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.
Denver scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter as Philadelphia opened the period by missing its first seven shots. The Nuggets took their largest lead, 81-70, on Barton’s drive 2:41 into the period.
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.
But the 76ers stayed close and were within five before Jameer Nelson stepped in front of Ilyasova’s pass in the backcourt and converted a layup to make it 100-93 with 1:22 remaining. Embiid made a 3-pointer on Philadelphia’s ensuing possession, 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.
The Nuggets pulled in front for the first time on Gallinari’s two free throws with 3:55 left in the third quarter that made it 64-63. The game remained close throughout the period, and Denver entered the fourth with a 74-70 lead after Barton finished an alley-loop layup after a pass from Murray.
The highlight of the period was Murray’s 17-foot underhanded scoop shot that just beat the shot clock.
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 3 from the arc.
Philadelphia led by as many as 10 in the first half before entering the locker room ahead 53-51.