NBA regular season

Despite Nikola Jokic’s ejection, Nuggets beat Bulls


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Despite Nikola Jokic’s ejection, Nuggets beat Bulls

BIG CHALLENGE. Bulls center Andre Drummond defends Nuggets center Nikola Jokic during the first half.

David Banks/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Game officials toss out two-time MVP Nikola Jokic in the first half for briefly arguing a no-call

Reggie Jackson scored 25 points and Michael Porter Jr. added 17 to lift the shorthanded Denver Nuggets to a 114-106 victory against the host Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, December 12 (Wednesday, December 13, Manila time).

Denver won for the second time in as many nights despite playing without Jamal Murray and losing star Nikola Jokic to an ejection.

Officials tossed Jokic with 1:08 remaining in the second quarter for briefly arguing a no-call as he ran down the floor. 

Jokic had missed a layup at the other end amid contact from Chicago’s Nikola Vucevic as he drove the baseline.

Fans at United Center booed the call as the two-time MVP Jokic left the game with 4 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. He had not been assessed a previous warning or technical foul. 

The development further depleted Denver, which was missing Murray, who rolled his left ankle in the first quarter Monday in a win at Atlanta (he returned to that game).

The Nuggets also lost Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the second quarter Tuesday with a head contusion.

Chicago trailed by 16 points in the third quarter and rallied to trim the deficit to 5 before the Nuggets regained control.

Coby White kept the Bulls afloat with 27 points, which included 5-for-10 shooting from three-point range. White has swished at least three treys in 12 consecutive games, an ongoing franchise record.

Still, the effort from White and a 26-point, 16-rebound double-double from Vucevic weren’t enough as Chicago lost its second straight game on the heels of a four-game winning streak.

DeMar DeRozan added 14 points for the Bulls, while White had 8 assists. Alex Caruso missed his second consecutive game due to a sprained left ankle.

Julian Strawther (16 points), Aaron Gordon (14), and Christian Braun (13) each scored in double figures for the Nuggets, while DeAndre Jordan grabbed 10 rebounds.

Denver led 57-50 at halftime behind 16 points from Jackson and 11 from Braun. Vucevic had 15 points and 12 rebounds at the break.

The Nuggets swept the season series after winning by 22 on their home floor on November 4. –

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