Fred VanVleet leads Rockets to sixth straight victory with 107-104 win over Nuggets
HOUSTON (AP) — Fred VanVleet scored 26 points and Alperen Sengun added 23 to lead the Houston Rockets to a 107-104 win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.
Houston’s six-game winning streak is the longest since the team won seven straight in January 2021.
Nikola Jokic had his fourth triple-double of the season, racking up 36 points, 21 rebounds and 11 assists in the loss.
Jokic hit a 3 with 19.1 seconds remaining to cut Houston’s lead to 103-102. Denver fouled and VanVleet hit two free throws. On the next play, Jae’Sean Tate stole the inbounds pass. Jokic had a full-court shot at the buzzer to tie it but fell short.
The Nuggets entered the game 8-1, their best start since the 2018-19 season when they started 9-1. Houston improved to 6-3 after starting the season 0-3.
Rockets veteran Jeff Green hit a big 3 with 1:49 left in the fourth, putting Houston up 103-94. Green appeared in all 20 playoff games during Denver’s championship run last season. Green scored 15 points off the bench Sunday.
Denver entered the fourth quarter with a 76-74 lead thanks to a 20-foot jumper from Collin Gillespie with 2 seconds left in the third.
Behind Jokic, Michael Porter Jr. scored 25 points, Aaron Gordon had 16 and Reggie Jackson added 14.
Jamal Murray missed a third straight game with a right hamstring strain.
Jalen Green hit a pull-back 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the second quarter to cut Denver’s halftime lead to 50-46. He had nine points in the game on 1 of 13 shooting.
Houston has won two in a row against Denver following a 10-game losing streak.
Nuggets: Host the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the NBA In-Season Tournament play on Tuesday night.
Rockets: Open up a three-game California road trip with the Clippers on Friday night.
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