Nikola Jokic totaled 22 points, 17 rebounds ,and 10 assists for his league-leading 28th triple-double as the Denver Nuggets took control in the first quarter and led virtually the entire way in a 108-102 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in New York on Sunday, March 19 (Monday, March 20, Manila time).
Michael Porter Jr. led all scorers with 28 points to go along with 9 boards as the Nuggets (48-24) won for the second time in seven games after taking a six-point loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday.
Jamal Murray added all 25 of his points in the first half as Denver shot 52.5% from the field, marking the fifth straight game it shot at least 50%.
Jokic made 9 of 12 shots and recorded his 104th career triple-double and second in as many weeks against the Nets. A week ago in Denver, the center totaled 35 points, 20 rebounds, and 11 assists in a two-point loss.
Jokic, Porter, and Murray were a combined 28 of 49 from the floor and also combined for 21 of Denver’s 31 assists.
Mikal Bridges scored a team-high 23 points for the Nets (39-32), who dropped their third straight and fell 2 1/2 games behind the fifth-place Knicks in the Eastern Conference. Nic Claxton added 19 points and Cameron Johnson contributed 14 as Brooklyn shot 46.3% overall but also missed 23 of 35 three-point tries.
Murray capped a 20-point opening quarter, where the Nuggets shot 59.1%, by hitting a 16-footer with 16 seconds left for a 33-21 lead. After Claxton’s three-point play moved the Nets within 42-38, the Nuggets outscored Brooklyn 21-10 over the final 6:07 and consecutive hoops by Murray made it 63-48 at halftime.
Jokic scored Denver’s final 8 points of the third quarter as the Nuggets outscored the Nets 15-5 over the final five-plus minutes of the period to seize a 91-71 lead going into the fourth.
Jokic reached his latest triple-double with 6:05 left when he passed out of a double team to Bruce Brown, who hit an easy layup for a 100-81 lead.
After the Nets ripped off a 17-2 run to get within 100-93, Murray found Porter, who hit a corner three-pointer when Johnson left him uncovered with 3:23 remaining.
The Nets missed another chance at inching closer when Johnson missed an open triple with 2:16 to go, and Denver iced it when Gordon hit a layup and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a trey. – Rappler.com
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