CHICAGO | Michael Porter Jr. posted a season-high 31 points and Nikola Jokic had 14 assists as the Denver Nuggets swept past the Chicago Bulls 126-103 on Sunday night.
Porter made 11 of 16 shots, including six from 3-point range, as the Nuggets won for the fifth time in their last six games.
Zach LaVine scored 21 points to lead the Bulls, who lost four of five.
The Nuggets, who came into play as the NBA leaders with 49.7% and 3-point percentage (41.9%), made 48 of 80 shots (60%) from the field and 13 of 27 (48.1%) ) behind arch.
Jamal Murray scored 23 points for Denver. Jokic combined his season with many assists, despite playing just 27 minutes and sitting the entire fourth quarter.
The bulls showed the impact of a three-day layoff as they committed six turnovers in the first quarter and trailed as much as 15 points. Leading scorer DeMar DeRozan only got a shot midway through the second quarter to finish with 16 points.
Porter made four of five shots and scored 12 points in the first quarter. He committed his third foul 5 1/2 minutes from time in the second half, but his teammates maintained a double-digit lead for most of the rest of the half.
Andre Drummond was the 52nd center in NBA history and the eighth Bulls center to reach 10,000 points.
The Bulls’ fate was summed up during a third-quarter sequence in which guard Goran Dragic missed a shot where he believed he had been fouled and moments later was assessed a technical foul.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope sunk the free throw and Porter hit a pair of 3-pointers to increase the lead to 86-66 with 3:18 in the third period.
Dalen Terry, the Bulls’ first pick in the 2022 draft, didn’t frown on a weekend stint to play for Windy City in the G League. “It was a great experience,” said Terry, who averaged 16 points and 32 minutes over two games. “I just wanted to play. It felt good to play against someone beyond the imagination in my head.” Coach Billy Donovan was very happy with Terry, who played just three minutes with the Bulls this weekend. “He was like, ‘How can I improve and get better?'” Donovan said. “Those are moments when he can do that.” Terry played the last 5:34 of that game and had five points and two assists.
nuggets: G Bones Hyland (Health and Safety Protocols) and G Ish Smith (right calf) did not play.
Cops: G Coby White (left quadriceps) missed his seventh straight game, and Donovan said White still doesn’t have full range of motion in his leg, which has affected his condition. This is the latest setback for White, who underwent shoulder surgery last summer before testing positive for COVID-19 shortly after being released to play. “He feels sorry for you because he worked hard and had a good summer and that bruise which was obviously very hard to get the swelling out,” Donovan said.
nuggets: Vs. New York Knicks Wednesday night.
Cops: Wednesday night in New Orleans.