NBA regular season

Jokic caps triple-double night with game-winning 3 as Nuggets escape Magic


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Jokic caps triple-double night with game-winning 3 as Nuggets escape Magic

SCHOOLING. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) dribbles the ball up court against Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) in the first quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Nikola Jokic delivers yet another MVP-worthy performance as the Denver Nuggets deny the Orlando Magic an upset win

Nikola Jokic hit a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left to cap a 17-point, 14-assist, 10-rebound triple-double, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Orlando Magic 119-116 on Sunday night (Monday, January 16, Manila time).

Aaron Gordon scored 25 points, Jamal Murray had 18, Michael Porter Jr. finished with 16 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown had 12 apiece for Denver, which has won 13 straight home games.

Nuggets backup point guard Bones Hyland didn’t play in the second half due to an ankle injury.

Markelle Fultz had 20 points, Franz Wagner scored 19, Paolo Banchero added 18 and Bol Bol finished with 17 for the Magic.

Orlando led 115-112 with 1:08 left, but Gordon had a dunk and two free throws to put the Nuggets ahead 116-115 with 16.8 seconds left. Fultz split a pair of free throws to tie it, but Jokic hit his step-back 3-pointer.

The Nuggets led 69-54 at halftime, but Orlando got within 73-65 early in the third. Murray scored the next six points to push the lead back to 12.

The Magic went on a 9-2 run to get within 81-76, and after Denver pushed the advantage to 11 points with 2:21 left in the period, they surged to within 94-88 heading into the fourth.

Murray opened the final period with a 12-foot turnaround jumper, but Orlando rallied to pull within 98-96 with 10:04 left.

Brown made two free throws, but Bol converted a three-point play and then had a putback dunk to give the Magic a 101-100 lead, their first since the first quarter.

Bol answered buckets by Brown and Zeke Nnaji with two more dunks, and Cole Anthony split a pair of free throws to give Orlando a 106-104 lead with 5:21 left.

Murray and Wagner traded 3-pointers that kept Orlando in the lead, 111-109, with 2:58 left.

Gordon missed two free throws and Banchero made a pair from the line to stretch the lead to four.

Caldwell-Pope hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 113-112 and set up the final minute. –

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