NBA regular season

Nuggets hang on to beat Pistons amid Nikola Jokic first-half ejection


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Nuggets hang on to beat Pistons amid Nikola Jokic first-half ejection

PLEADING. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) argues with crew chief official Tony Brothers (25) while playing against the Houston Rockets in the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

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NBA MVP Nikola Jokic and champion head coach Michael Malone both get ejected in the first half, but Denver hangs on for a 4-point win over lowly Detroit

Reggie Jackson had 21 points and six assists as the visiting Denver Nuggets overcame the ejection of center Nikola Jokic to beat Detroit 107-103 on Monday, (Tuesday, November 21, Manila time) handing the Pistons their 12th straight loss.

Denver coach Michael Malone was ejected with 1:21 remaining in the first quarter for arguing with the officials. Jokic was tossed with 1:22 left in the first half after picking up his second technical.

Jokic finished the game with nine points, five rebounds and five assists.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope supplied 20 points for the Nuggets, who snapped a four-game road losing streak. Christian Braun contributed 15 points and six rebounds, and Michael Porter Jr. tossed in 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Aaron Gordon added 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Cade Cunningham led the Pistons with 27 points and nine assists. Marvin Bagley III had 18 points and eight rebounds, Jaden Ivey added 17 points and Isaiah Stewart chipped in 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The Nuggets had a 56-55 halftime lead. All 10 of their players who saw action scored, as they shot 53.7 percent from the field. Detroit was led by Ivey, who had 13 points.

Denver clung to the lead until Ivey made a layup to give Detroit a 66-65 edge. The Nuggets answered with 3-pointers from Braun and Porter.

A 7-0 Pistons spurt, capped by a Cunningham 3-pointer, allowed the Pistons to regain the lead. Jackson scored with 24 seconds left in the third quarter to give Denver an 81-79 lead entering the fourth.

Stanley Umude scored eight consecutive Pistons points to give Detroit an 87-84 edge. Porter’s 3-pointer with 6:57 left put Denver back on top, 92-91.

Free throws by Stewart gave Detroit a 95-94 lead with 5:02 to go. After Jackson tied it at 97-all with a three-point play, neither side had more than a two-point advantage until Gordon’s three-point play with 1:25 left.

That made it 106-103. Both sides had empty possessions until Denver sealed the contest on a Jackson free throw with 11 seconds remaining. –

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