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Jokic’s triple-double lifts Nuggets

By Reuters - Jan 31,2019 - Last updated at Jan 31,2019

Denver Nuggets centre Nikola Jokic is defended by New Orleans Pelicans centre Jahlil Okafor during their NBA game in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Wednesday (Reuters photo by Derick E. Hingle)

Nikola Jokic had a triple-double as the visiting Denver Nuggets defeated the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans 105-99 on Wednesday night.

Jokic had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, Malik Beasley added 22 points, Monte Morris scored 20 and Paul Millsap had 13 as the Nuggets won their fourth consecutive game.

The Pelicans played without five of their top six scorers for the second consecutive night.

Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, Elfrid Payton, E’Twaun Moore and Nikola Mirotic were all sidelined by injury, leaving just guard Jrue Holiday available among the top six players.

New Orleans faced the same plight a night earlier, but overcame the absences to beat the Rockets 121-116 in Houston.

Holiday scored 22 points, Kenrich Williams added 21, Darius Miller had 15 and Jahlil Okafor 14 to lead the Pelicans, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

The Nuggets, who rallied from a 25-point deficit to win at Memphis on Monday, led for most of the game.

New Orleans led by three points at halftime, but Denver scored the first 10 points of the third quarter.

Solomon Hill’s basket gave the Pelicans their first points four minutes into the quarter, and Miller made back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 71-66.

Gary Harris answered with back-to-back 3-pointers for the Nuggets, who took an 86-75 lead after three quarters.

New Orleans began the fourth quarter with an 11-2 run as Williams’ 3-pointer cut Denver’s lead to 88-86.

The Pelicans got within two points twice more, but Beasley scored five points to help Denver open a 100-93 lead.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Ian Clark and Holiday pulled New Orleans within 100-99 with 1:33 left.

But the Nuggets turned to Jokic, who made consecutive baskets for a 104-99 lead with 42 seconds left, and New Orleans did not score again.

The Nuggets scored the first seven points of the game before settling for a 29-26 lead after the first quarter.

The score was tied five times in the second quarter before the Pelicans took a 56-53 halftime lead.


Celtics 126, Hornets 94


Terry Rozier filled in for injured Kyrie Irving and had 17 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, and Boston remained hot with an easy victory over visiting Charlotte.

The Celtics took control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring the Hornets 35-16 to push a four-point halftime lead to 23. They went on to lead by as many as 35 points in the fourth quarter.

The Celtics have won seven of their past eight games. They are also now 24-4 over the past two seasons when playing without Irving, who missed his third game in the past week with a strained left hip. Kemba Walker paced the Hornets with 21 points.


Timberwolves 99, Grizzlies 97 (OT)


Karl-Anthony Towns hit a 20-foot jump shot at the overtime buzzer, and Minnesota pulled off a victory in Minneapolis, sending Memphis to their eighth consecutive road defeat.

Towns had 16 points and 10 rebounds while Jerryd Bayless scored 19 points and handed out a career-high 12 assists for the Timberwolves. Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins missed a 21-foot jumper with three seconds remaining in overtime. Towns grabbed the rebound on the wing and got off his game-winning shot just before time expired.

Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 26 points and eight assists.

Mavericks 114, Knicks 90


Dennis Smith Jr. finished with a triple-double, and Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 14 points in his possible finale at Madison Square Garden as visiting Dallas pulled away for a win over New York.

The Mavericks have won three of four. The Knicks have lost 11 straight, 19 of 20 and 24 of 26. New York (10-40) has the worst record in the NBA.

Smith collected 13 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds. Harrison Barnes led all scorers with 19 points while Wesley Matthews added 17 points and rookie sensation Luka Doncic had 16 points and eight rebounds. Kevin Knox topped New York with 17 points.


Bulls 105, Heat 89


Bobby Portis scored a season-high 26 points to lead Chicago to a victory at Miami.

Wayne Selden finished with 20 points while Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn scored 14 points each for the Bulls, who snapped a four-game losing streak and won their second in the past 16. Robin Lopez was Chicago’s fifth double-figure scorer with 13 points, and Markkanen grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.

Tyler Johnson scored 15 points for the Heat, whose two-game winning streak ended.


Wizards 107, Pacers 89


Bradley Beal scored 25 points, Jeff Green added 23, and Washington routed visiting Indiana.

Chasson Randle added 13 points for the Wizards, who had lost two straight. Jordan McRae and Trevor Ariza contributed 12 points apiece.

Thaddeus Young led six Pacers in double figures with 13 points. The 89 points were a season low for Indiana, who fell to 0-3 since losing Victor Oladipo to a season-ending quadriceps injury. The Pacers have dropped three games in a row for the first time this season.


Kings 135, Hawks 113


Marvin Bagley III scored nine of his 17 points in the second quarter, helping Sacramento roll past visiting Atlanta.

The win allowed the Kings to sweep the two-game season series from the Hawks for the first time since 2006. Sacramento put up an opponents’ season high in a 146-115 romp at Atlanta in November. The Kings’ total Wednesday was the sixth-most points allowed by the Hawks this season.

Bagley, Harry Giles III (team-high 20 points), Bogdan Bogdanovic (16) and Yogi Ferrell (11) all scored in double figures off the bench for the Kings, who outscored the Hawks 80-49 in reserve points. Hawks rookie Trae Young won his individual duel with Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox, outscoring his rival 23-9 and out-assisting him 8-7.

Trail Blazers 

132, Jazz 105


Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 66 points as Portland dismantled Utah for their eighth straight home victory.

Lillard collected 36 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, and McCollum scored 30 points for the Trail Blazers, who led by as many as 33 points.

Donovan Mitchell scored 22 points for Utah, which had won nine of its previous 10 outings. Jazz’s Rudy Gobert added 15 points and nine rebounds.

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