On the second night of a back-to-back, the Denver Nuggets picked up a solid 105-98 victory on the road over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

With the win, Denver moves to 6-0 on back-to-backs this season and push their record to 13-7. The Nuggets now have a road record of 5-4 and sit tied atop the Western Conference standings with the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, and Memphis Grizzlies.

It was not easy for the Nuggets as they started the game short handed with Gary Harris missing his first game of the season due to left ankle soreness. Torrey Craig filled Harris’ spot in the starting lineup and immediately made his presence known with an offensive rebound that led to second chance points courtesy of a Nikola Jokic floater.

It would not take long before Craig got his first basket of the night after he made an and-one lay up just a few possessions later to give the Nuggets a 6-2 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the first quarter. A quick 9-4 run gave the Thunder a three point lead, before a couple Nuggets baskets and a Jamal Murray three gave Denver a 15-13 lead with 3:41 left in the opening quarter.

Both teams started like teams playing on back-to-backs as the energy lacked from each side to start the game. The Nuggets quickly ramped up that energy though and handled the back-to-back much better as they shot 13-23 from the field in the opening period to give them a 33-23 lead going into quarter number two.

The Nuggets struggled to score the ball in the opening part of the first, but got hot as the quarter went on and finished the opening 12 minutes shooting 5-of-9 from three-point range. Oklahoma City began the game just 2-of-13 from three as the Nuggets defense stifled them early to give Denver a double-dight lead going into the second quarter.

Denver rode that momentum into the second quarter as the bench unit continued to play exceptional, with Mason Plumlee leading the way. Not only was Plumlee scoring the basketball with efficiency, but he also was rejecting the Thunder anytime they got near the rim.

That defense helped Denver get out to a 40-29 lead with 8:18 left before half as Plumlee was imposing his will on both ends of the floor. Plumlee’s play was echoed by Trey Lyles as the two combined to score 19 points at the midway point of the second quarter to lead the Nuggets offensively.

The scoring edge Denver’sΒ bench unit brought was followed by the Nuggets starting five as they raced out to a 56-36 lead with 4:02 remaining in the second quarter. That lead would only get bigger as the Nuggets took a 63-42 lead going into the halftime locker room.

Denver played arguably their best half of basketball so far this season as they shot the lights out and complimented it with tremendous defense. The Nuggets shot 25-of-50 from the field in the first half and were 7-of-17 from behind the three-point line. Their defense forced Oklahoma City to shoot just 14-of-48 from the field and 2-of-19 from three-point range.

Murray led the Nuggets in scoring at the break with 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting and also chipped in four rebounds and four assists. Other notable stat lines for the Nuggets came courtesy of 10 points from Lyles and Plumlee’s nine points and five rebounds, which both came off the bench.

Just like they did most of the first half, the Nuggets played with phenomenal energy to start the third quarter and had a 69-49 lead with 7:43 left in the period. A Juancho Hernangomez 4-point play got the Nuggets going to start the half as Denver continued to play exceptional defense and complimentary offense.

The Nuggets once 25-point lead slowly started to diminish though as a 12-5 Thunder run cut the score to 74-61 with 2:50 remaining in the third quarter. With the bench unit subbing back in, Lyles hit a big and-one jumper to push the Nuggets lead back to 16 with just over two minutes left in the quarter.

The Thunder would end up outscoring Denver 24-18 in the third, but the Nuggets still took a 79-66 lead going into the fourth quarter. Just 12 minutes away from picking up a big time road victory, the Nuggets had to buckle down in the fourth quarter and find a way to slow down Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Both of the Thunder’s superstars had 16 points through three quarters and were the only thing in the way of the Nuggets and a victory.

After scoring just 18 points in the third quarter, the Nuggets carried their cold shooting into the fourth as the Thunder began the period on a 5-1 run. A George three-pointer cut the Nuggets lead to single digits as the Thunder trailed 80-71 with 10:12 left in the game. The Nuggets continued to battle though as it was not till a Murray three-pointer pushed the Denver’s lead back out to 13 with 5:46 left in the game.

Oklahoma City would not go quietly though as they cut the Nuggets lead to six and trailed 96-90 with just 3:07 left in the fourth quarter. Denver was determined to get the road win though as a couple huge buckets from Jokic and Craig gave Denver a 101-94 lead with 1:06 remaining. Craig would put away a huge dunk in transition during the final minute to put the nail in the coffin as the Nuggets walked away with a 105-98 victory in Oklahoma City.

No Nuggets player had a bigger night than Murray, who led the team in points with 22 on 9-of-23 shooting from the field. Murray also chipped in eight rebounds and eight assists falling just shy of a triple-double. Lyles also had a big night off the bench for Denver with 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field, 2-of-2 from behind the three-point line. One other stat line that deserves recognition comes from Craig, who scored eight points and hauled in 10 rebounds with six of those coming offensively. Craig did a great job filling in for Harris as he also had two blocks and one steal on the defensive end of the floor.

The Nuggets will now have two days off before they are back in action Tuesday night when they welcome LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers to the Pepsi Center.