Nikola Jokic had 34 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, Will Barton scored 14, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Detroit Pistons 117-111 on Sunday night.
Aaron Gordon scored 13, Bryn Forbes and Zeke Nnaji finished with 12 apiece and Austin Rivers scored 11 for the Nuggets. DeMarcus Cousins scored two points in his Denver debut.
Cade Cunningham had 18 points and eight assists, Isaiah Stewart, Cory Joseph and Trey Lyles also scored 18 and Saddiq Bey finished with 11 for Detroit.
The Nuggets led by 16 after three quarters and 94-79 with 10:30 left but couldn't hold the lead. Lyles had a dunk, a three-point play and a layup during an 11-0 run that got the Pistons within four.
Jokic hit a layup and Rivers a finger roll to stretch the lead to eight but Detroit didn't go away. Joseph made a layup and Killian Hayes hit a 3-pointer to cut it to 104-101. Bey answered a Jokic make with a 3-pointer, Barton hit one from deep and Bey again answered with a 3-pointer and Joseph made a floater to tie it at 109.
Jokic and Joseph traded baskets and the Pistons had a chance for the lead after Gordon missed but a turnover led to two free throws for Jokic with 40.3 seconds left.
After another Detroit turnover Jokic made two more free throws with 17.7 seconds left.
Denver led 65-64 with 9:26 left in the third quarter and started to build a lead. Gordon hit a 3-pointer, Monte Morris a floating jumper and Jokic a layup to make it 72-64. Detroit closed to 75-73 on a 3-pointer from Cunningham.
Davon Reed and Facu Campazzo hit 3-pointers to start a 17-3 run to end the third and give the Nuggets a 92-76 lead.
Denver trailed after the first quarter and led by 10 on Jokic's jumper with 4:10 left in the second quarter. The Pistons scored nine straight points to cut the deficit to one, and Cunningham's 19-foot jumper at the buzzer tied the game at 60 at halftime.
--Field Level Media