Nikola Jokic scored a season-high 43 points and added 14 rebounds and 8 assists, Bones Hyland had 23 points, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Washington Wizards, 141-128, on Wednesday night, December 14 (Thursday, December 15, Manila time).
Aaron Gordon had 22 points, Bruce Brown added 13, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finished with 11, and Jeff Green had 10 for Denver, which scored a season high to win its third straight game.
Kyle Kuzma led Washington with 24 points, and Will Barton had 22 points and 9 assists. Monte Morris added 20 points, while Corey Kispert notched 16 for the Wizards.
Barton and Morris played their first games against their former team.
Denver led by five at halftime and extended the lead with a strong start to the third quarter from Jokic. After Taj Gibson made a layup, Jokic made a couple of pullup jumpers and fed Caldwell-Pope with a long bounce pass for a layup and a 78-69 lead.
Morris hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to six, but Jokic scored the next seven points for the Nuggets to give them an 87-76 lead. Denver surged again and made it 96-82 on a lob dunk by Gordon.
The Wizards responded with a pair of three-pointers that sparked a 13-4 run before heading to the fourth quarter down 102-95.
Christian Braun split a pair of free throws early in the fourth to make it 109-97, but Washington again had an answer.
Deni Avdija hit a triple, Kuzma made two free throws and Kispert drained consecutive three-pointers to get the Wizards within 113-108 with 8:54 left. The Nuggets extended the lead to 10, Washington got within seven and had a chance to get closer but a 10-foot jumper from Jokic made it 131-120 with 3:27 left.
The Nuggets led by as many as nine in the first half, but Washington battled back. An 11-2 run – highlighted by a four-point play from Morris – gave the Wizards a 53-49 lead midway through the second quarter.
Denver recovered to take a 72-67 lead into halftime. – Rappler.com