);
Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets hand James Harden and the Houston Rockets a 14-point loss in Denver

Nikola Jokic stars in the Nuggets' win against the Rockets in Denver.
(Getty Images)

James Harden and the Houston Rockets began their campaign in February on fire, dropping 43 points in the first quarter against the Nuggets in Denver. The reigning MVP contributed 15 in that first period and looked set to comfortably extend his historic scoring streak to 25 games scoring 30+ points.

That's when the Nuggets put the clamps down and the shots stopped falling for Houston.

Over the middle two quarters, the Rockets only scored 52 points while giving up 78.

2019 All-Star reserve Nikola Jokic did his usual with a near triple-double performance of 31 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 assists on 12-of-15 shooting.

On Saturday morning, Malik Beasley forced Jokic to share the spotlight. With Jamal Murray (ankle) missing the game, Beasley erupted for a career-high 35 points on 12-of-17 shooting including this monster transition dunk to put an exclamation point on the win:

Apart from Jokic and Beasley, the Nuggets had five other players in double figures led by 22 points by reserve Torrey Craig (8-of-11 shooting).

Denver, as a team, shot 62.2% from the field and 45.2% on 14 made 3's. They recorded an assist on 37 of their 51 made field goals while only turning the ball over eight times.

Despite the Golden State Warriors' recent 11-game winning streak, this win for the Nuggets takes them back to the top of the Western Conference.

The Rockets, meanwhile, had four of their five starters in double figures led the reigning MVP James Harden - 30 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds. He barely kept his 30-point historic streak going with a three in the waning moments once the game seemed to be done.

Chris Paul recorded 20 points and 6 assists but Houston were simply outplayed in Denver. The Rockets' team stats would have comfortably won them a game on another night against another opponent - 52.9% shooting from the field, 16 made 3's on 36.4% shooting from the field and just 10 turnovers.

This contest was the first game of a back-to-back for both teams.

On Sunday, the Nuggets fly out to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves while the Rockets will look to bounce back against the Jazz in Utah.

More from NBA.com

Panaji 3BL
Panaji 3BL bow out in group stage in Kaohsiung
Yash Matange
NBA-JamScreens_9-22.jpg
Kawhi and PG are the new Jordan and Pippen
Matthew Blum
kevin-heurter-trae-young-john-collins-091919-ftr-nbae-gettyimages
Can the Hawks become a playoff team?
Gilbert McGregor
Dewayne Dedmon
Fast facts: Kings' Dewayne Dedmon
Yash Matange
Oscar Robertson
All-time stat leaders for the Sacramento Kings
Yash Matange
Panaji 3BL
Panaji 3BL to participate in Kaohsiung City Challenger
Yash Matange
More News