DENVER — Will Barton capped a career-high 37 points with a driving layup with 3.2 seconds left and the Denver Nuggets overcame the loss of Nikola Jokic to beat the Chicago Bulls 111-110 on Thursday night.
Gary Harris added 21 points, and Kenneth Faried had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Denver.
Jokic went down in with 44 seconds left in the second quarter when he drove to the basket and stepped on Jerian Grant's foot. Jokic hit two free throws before heading to the locker room with an obvious limp. He didn't return in the second half.
Lauri Markanen and Robin Lopez had 20 points each for Chicago, and Kris Dunn added 19. The Bulls have lost seven straight to finish 2-13 in November and drop to 3-17 overall.
The Bulls, who led for most of the game, took advantage of Jokic's absence and led 108-105 in the final minute. Barton was fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit all three free throws to tie it, then made 1 of 2 to give Denver a one-point lead with 20 seconds left.
Dunn gave Chicago the lead with a layup with 9.6 seconds left, but Barton drove the length of the court and hit a reverse layup.
Chicago led 68-62 at halftime but Denver rallied to briefly take the lead in the third quarter. Grant hit a 3-pointer at the end of the third to put the Bulls ahead 92-91.
Meritic increasing workload: Chicago forward Nikola Mirotic has increased his practice load and is close to returning.
"He's really in training camp mode," coach Fred Hoiberg said. "He's had a lot of individual work but nothing simulates that playing up and down, five-on-five type action."
Mirotic has been out since a preseason altercation with teammate Bobby Portis left him with several broken bones in his face as well as a concussion.