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Chris Paul scores 29 points, leads Thunder past Nuggets

Chris Paul scored 29 points, Steven Adams had 19 points and 17 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Denver Nuggets 113-101 on Friday night.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 11 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Thunder. They have won 11 of their past 14 games.

Nikola Jokic scored 32 points on 12-for-15 shooting and Jamal Murray added 21 points for the Nuggets. They entered the night with the second-best record in the Western Conference.

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) defends against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP PhotoSue Ogrocki)

Paul banked in a shot and was fouled with 2.7 seconds left in the first half to tie it, but missed the free throw and the score remained 48-all at halftime.

The Thunder opened the second half on a 9-1 run that forced the Nuggets to call a timeout. Denver responded, and a 10-0 run cut Oklahoma City's lead to 60-59.

A steal and dunk by Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort sent the floor cleanup crew scrambling and gave the Thunder a 66-61 lead.

Denver Nuggets forward Mason Plumlee, left, knocks the ball away from Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP PhotoSue Ogrocki)

Paul was fouled on a made 3-pointer, and his free throw put Oklahoma City up 72-65. The Thunder took a 78-77 edge into the fourth quarter.

Oklahoma City, as it has done so often this season, took over in the final period. A dunk by Nerlens Noel on a lob from Dennis Schroder put the Thunder up 95-85. A dunk by Adams gave Oklahoma City a 109-97 edge with just under two minutes remaining.

TIP-INS

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots as Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP PhotoSue Ogrocki)

Nuggets: Former Thunder player Jerami Grant received a nice ovation from the crowd when he checked into the game in the first quarter. Oklahoma City traded him to Denver this past summer. ... Missed all seven of their 3-point attempts in the first quarter and made just 6 of 27 overall.

Thunder: Dort made the first 3-pointer by either team more than eight minutes into the game. ... Former University of Oklahoma tight end Blake Bell of the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs attended the game. ... Gallinari was called for a flagrant 1 in the second quarter.

UP NEXT

Denver Nuggets forward Will Barton (5) shoots in front of Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, rear, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP PhotoSue Ogrocki)

Nuggets: Host Minnesota on Sunday.

Thunder: Host San Antonio on Sunday.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter @CliffBruntAP.

Denver Nuggets forward Torrey Craig (3) passes between Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) and guard Dennis Schroder (17) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP PhotoSue Ogrocki)