Sports Jokic scores 11 in OT as Nuggets outlast Pelicans 120-114
Bucks beat Nuggets 120-109, extend win streak to 6 games
DENVER (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points and 13 rebounds, Pat Connaughton added 20 points off the bench and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the depleted Denver Nuggets 120-109 on Friday night for their sixth straight win. Antetokounmpo hit 10 of 13 shots in just 30 minutes, and the Bucks never trailed in winning by double digits for the third straight game. The anticipated matchup of the last two MVPs didn’t happen. Nikola Jokic, who won last season in becoming the first Denver player to capture the award, missed his fourth straight game with a sprained right wrist. Michael Porter Jr. hasn’t played since Nov. 6 due to lower back soreness and P.J.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Denver Nuggets wanted Nikola Jokic to shoot on nearly every possession in the final minutes of regulation and in overtime. The reigning MVP obliged and the results were memorable — even by his lofty standards.
Jokic scored 11 of his season-high 39 points in OT to go with his 11 assists and 11 rebounds, and the Nuggets pulled out a 120-114 victory over the mistake-prone New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.
“It felt good. The team believed in me. Coach drew a couple plays for me. The ball went in and we just kept rolling,” Jokic said after his fourth triple-double this season. “Bottom line, I think they really trust me and I'm really comfortable taking shots in those situations.”
Nikola Jokic injury update: Nuggets star to return vs. Miami Heat
In 14 games, the reigning league MVP is averaging career-highs of 26.4 points and 13.6 rebounds while also dishing out 6.4 assists on career-high shooting efficiencies of 59.3 percent from the field and 41.0 percent from beyond the arc. NBA League Pass: Sign up to unlock live out-of-market games (7-day free trial) What's next for Jokic? Here's everything we know about his injury. What is Nikola Jokic's injury? The Nuggets center reportedly suffered the wrist sprain midway through their home loss against the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 18 Jokic played until the end of the game, but he was seen favoring it in the second half.
Jokic, who displayed an accurate touch on contested shots around the basket and also mixed in some jumpers, scored five points in the final 1:29 of regulation to help Denver erase a five-point deficit.
“He’s not going to out-quick you, he’s not going to out-jump you. He’s going to out-skill you, he’s going to out-smart you, and he does it so methodically,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “He’s one of the better clutch players in the NBA in the last five years, and tonight we saw many more examples of that.”
Jonas Valanciunas had 27 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans, but the Pelicans committed 25 turnovers that led to 31 Nuggets points.
“Turnovers just were too much to overcome,” Pelicans first-year coach Willie Green said. “Especially with 31 points off of our turnovers — that’s a lot to overcome with our team.”
Jokic returns, Nuggets beat Heat 120-111 to snap 6-game skid
MIAMI (AP) — Nikola Jokic returned and scored 24 points, Aaron Gordon added 20 and the Denver Nuggets snapped their longest losing streak in nearly six years by beating the short-handed Miami Heat 120-111 on Monday night. Bones Hyland scored 19 and Will Barton added 14 for the Nuggets, who had dropped six straight. Jokic, the reigning NBA MVP, hadn’t played in the last four of those because of a wrist injury but finished with 15 rebounds and seven assists. Jeff Green scored 12 for Denver, which shot 58% on the day it was revealed Michael Porter Jr. will need back surgery. Porter has been limited to nine games this season.
The Pelicans were up 103-98 when Devonte' Graham hit a 3-pointer with 2:32 left, only to give up seven straight points while turning the ball over twice in the process.
Jokic hit a running floater while making contact with Brandon Ingram, who was called for a blocking foul. The Pelicans challenged the call, which was upheld, but Jokic missed the free throw. That allowed New Orleans to briefly maintain a three-point lead until Ingram fouled Monte Morris on a missed 3-pointer and Morris made all three free throws to tie it at 103.
Jokic then used a spinning, up-and-under move to put Denver up 105-103 with 16.9 seconds to go before Valanciunas' tip-in of Graham's missed layup tied it at 105 with 5.2 seconds left.
“We came out in the second half and just upped the level,” Green said. “Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough.”
Jokic ended regulation with a high-arching, step-back jumper that appeared to sink part of the way into the basket before rolling around the rim and out, setting up overtime.
Jokic gets 32 points in just 27 minutes, Nuggets rout Knicks
NEW YORK (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored 32 points and had 11 rebounds in just 27 minutes, leading the Denver Nuggets over the New York Knicks 113-99 Saturday. Denver never trailed in winning for only the third time in 10 games. “Winning is the best medicine,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. Zeke Nnaji added 21 points off the bench for the Nuggets, Will Barton contributed 13 and Jeff Green 11. The Knicks have lost three straight overall and fell to 5-8 at Madison Square Garden this season. “We (got to) look ourselves in the mirror and decide what we want the season to be,” Julius Randle said after leading the Knicks with 24 points on 9-for-18 shooting. “We have to commit to it.
Will Barton scored 20 points and Morris finished with 11 for Denver, which bounced back from a loss at Chicago two nights earlier.
Pelicans rookie forward Herbert Jones highlighted his career-high 19 points with a driving, tomahawk dunk over Jokic and also finished with seven rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Ingram scored 16 for New Orleans but also committed six turnovers, while Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 15 points.
“In overtime is where I’ve got to be more aggressive,” Ingram said. "I have to make the adjustment and find a way to help out our team."
Denver led by as many as 12, when Jokic set up Facundo Campazzo's 18-foot jumper to give the Nuggets a 50-38 lead in the second quarter.
New Orleans chipped away during the rest of the period and cut it to 62-57 on Ingram's 3 before Barton's layup made it 64-57 at halftime.
Denver was back up nine early in the third quarter when Ingram's jumper ignited a 12-0 Pelicans run that included Jones' jumper and Valanciunas' dunk. Ingram scored six during the surge, closing it out with another jumper and a layup.
Ingram scores 26, Pelicans extend Pistons' skid to 11 games
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored 26 points and the New Orleans Pelicans defeated Detroit 109-93 on Friday night, extending the Pistons' losing streak to 11 games. Ingram has averaged nearly 22 points in his past five games, including a 40-point outing. “He’s getting into a groove," Pelicans first-year coach Willie Green said. “He’s starting to see different defenses and know how to pick them apart." Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans, which trailed by as many as 15 points in the second quarter but led by as many as 27 in the second half.
The game remained close after that.
Nuggets: Aaron Gordon and JaMychal Green each scored 10 points. ... Denver shot 51.1% (45 of 88) and committed 12 turnovers.
Pelicans: Graham and Josh Hart each scored 12 points. ... Hart committed six turnovers and fouled out with 40 seconds left in regulation.
Pelicans guard Kira Lewis Jr., a 2020 first-round draft choice, left the game with a right leg injury in the first half and did not return. He stayed down, motionless, appearing to hold his knee until trainers reached him. He was helped to the bench before limping to the locker room.
Green described the injury as a knee sprain but also noted that Lewis would be scheduled to have some imaging done on Thursday to see whether there was more structural damage than was initially apparent.
Nuggets: Visit San Antonio on Thursday night for the first of two games in three nights against the Spurs.
Pelicans: Host the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.
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Brett Martel, The Associated Press
Hyland, Morris pace Nuggets in 133-115 win over Hawks .
ATLANTA (AP) — Rookie Bones Hyland scored a career-high 24 points in a reserve role, Monte Morris added 21 and the Denver Nuggets beat the Atlanta Hawks 133-115 on Friday night. Nikola Jokic and Jeff Green each finished with 20 points for the Nuggets, who have won three of four and had their highest scoring total of the season. The Hawks were coming off a fifth straight road victory, but they have dropped six in a row at home. Trae Young had 34 points and 10 assists in Atlanta's fifth loss in seven games overall. John Collins added 20 points and 10 rebounds. Denver (15-14) took command of the game by outscoring the Hawks 43-28 in the second quarter.