NBA regular season

Jokic grabs 27 rebounds in triple-double as Nuggets dispatch Hornets

Jokic grabs 27 rebounds in triple-double as Nuggets dispatch Hornets

DOING IT ALL. Nikola Jokic fuels the Nuggets to victory with his fifth triple-double of the season.

Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic posts an outrageous triple-double and joins NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain in an elite club

Nikola Jokic hauled down a career-high 27 rebounds – including a franchise record 20 in the first half – along with 40 points and 10 assists for his fifth triple-double of the season, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Charlotte Hornets, 119-115, on Sunday, December 18 (Monday, December 19, Manila time).

The 20 rebounds in one half are tied for the second most in NBA history going back to 1996-97. Kevin Love holds the record with 22 in a half.

The only other player in NBA history to have at least 37 points, 27 rebounds and 10 assists in a single game was Wilt Chamberlain.

Aaron Gordon finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 20 points, Bruce Brown tossed in 16, and Jamal Murray added 11 assists for Denver.

LaMelo Ball scored 31 points, Gordon Hayward had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 16 points, Jalen McDaniels had 14, Mason Plumlee and Nick Richards had 11 apiece, and P.J. Washington scored 10 for Charlotte, which has lost eight straight.

The Hornets led by as many as 12 in the second quarter, but Denver finished the first half on a 17-4 run to take a 55-52 lead into intermission.

The lead grew to 11 early in the third. Charlotte got within 9, but a three-pointer by Gordon made it 80-64 with 5:15 left, and the Nuggets took a 94-80 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Hornets made a push to start the final period, as Richards had a pair of dunks to pull Charlotte within 97-90. Jokic hit a three-pointer, but the Hornets scored 5 straight to get within 5.

Two free throws and another three-pointer by Jokic made it 105-97, but Plumlee hit 2 free throws and fed Oubre for a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 3. Washington missed a three-pointer that would have tied it with 2:42 left, and Gordon made a reverse layup and Jokic a sunk hook shot to make it 111-104 with 1:57 remaining.

Charlotte got within 2 on Washington’s dunk with 13.5 seconds left but Jokic sealed it with 2 free throws. –

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