Chicago Bulls vs. Denver Nuggets Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 12th 2023

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The Denver Nuggets nearly squandered a 20-point, fourth-quarter lead in Atlanta on Monday.

The opener of a road back-to-back ultimately ended in the reigning NBA champions’ favor while giving the Nuggets a point of emphasis entering their Tuesday road game against the Chicago Bulls.

“We’ve got to do a better job of not getting sloppy out there and just taking care of the basketball, you know,” Denver’s Jamal Murray said after his team’s 129-122 win over the Hawks. “(Atlanta) did a good job of fighting and making threes, and we’re just glad we came out with a win.”

Denver snapped a three-game losing streak behind Murray’s 29 points and a 25-point, nine-assist, eight-rebound effort from Nikola Jokic.

The Nuggets overcame 16 turnovers while sidestepping an injury scare to Murray.

The 26-year-old guard left the court after rolling his left ankle midway through the first quarter but returned to play 29 minutes. Murray also has been playing through right ankle soreness.

“I’m good,” he said. “It was just a tweak, you know. I’ve been getting hurt every game, but I’m OK. I’ll get through this little rough patch.”

Chicago also is completing a back-to-back set. The Bulls saw their four-game winning streak end on Monday with a 133-129 overtime loss to the host Milwaukee Bucks.

DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 41 points to go with 11 assists and Coby White contributed 33 points for the Bulls, who buckled down after surrendering 74 points in the first half.

The Bulls grabbed their first lead of the night early in OT before allowing an 8-0 Milwaukee run.

White was 6-for-10 from beyond the arc as Chicago shot 44.1 percent (15-for-34) from deep as a team. White stretched his club record for games with at least three treys to 11 games.

“Amazing,” DeRozan said. “He can do more, too. I’m just happy people are starting to see how talented and how much of a competitor he is. I worked out with him all summer. Just to see how much he wants it, how much he asks questions, how humble he is about the approach. It’s amazing to be his teammate and see his growth.”

Guard Alex Caruso, the Bulls’ top defender, missed the game with a left ankle injury that forced him out of Chicago’s victory against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday.

DeRozan became the first Bull since Michael Jordan in December 1992 to collect at least 40 points and 10 assists in a game.

“Anything with Michael Jordan in it is a hell of a compliment. A hell of a compliment,” DeRozan said. “You know I never take none of that stuff for granted.”

Denver has won 11 of its past 14 meetings against Chicago. The Nuggets lead the all-time series 57-43.

Jokic nearly had a triple-double to boost the host Nuggets to a 123-101 home victory over the Bulls on Nov. 4, contributing 28 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists.

Denver outscored Chicago 72-48 in the second half. Nikola Vucevic (19 points) and DeRozan (17) paced five Bulls players in double figures.

–Field Level Media

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