NBA regular season

Ultra-efficient Jokic puts up MVP numbers in another Nuggets win


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Ultra-efficient Jokic puts up MVP numbers in another Nuggets win

QUERY. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) argues a foul call with referee Brandon Schwab (86) Washington Wizards in the first half at Capital One Arena.

Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic is shooting nearly 75% from the field in the last 12 games, leading the Nuggets to eight wins in that span

Nikola Jokic scored 42 points on 15-of-20 shooting and pulled down 12 rebounds as the visiting Denver Nuggets beat the struggling Washington Wizards, 113-104, on Sunday, January 21 (Monday, January 22, Manila time).

Jokic, who had 8 assists, is shooting 74.6% from the field in the last 12 games, leading Denver to eight wins in that span.

Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray scored 19 points apiece, Aaron Gordon contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finished with 10 points for the Nuggets.

Tyus Jones had 15 points and 13 assists, Kyle Kuzma scored 17, Daniel Gafford also scored 15 points, and Landry Shamet and Marvin Bagley III added 14 points off the bench for Washington.

Denver led by 9 after the first quarter but the Wizards rallied to tie it at 37-all early in the second. The Nuggets led 49-48 with 4:30 left in the period before pulling away.

Gordon had a dunk and a layup, Jokic scored and fed Porter for a dunk, and Murray hit a 20-footer in a 13-1 run. Washington cut it to 10 at the half on Bilal Coulibaly’s corner three-pointer at the horn.

Denver stretched the lead to 70-54 on Porter’s three-pointer early in the third but the Wizards hung tough. Gafford scored on a putback and Kuzma split a pair of free throws before scoring on three straight possessions to cut the deficit to 72-63.

Following a Nuggets timeout, Gordon converted a three-point play and Jokic fed Murray for a basket to kickstart another run. Jokic took over after that, scoring 10 straight Denver points to establish an 89-73 lead.

Shamet ended the quarter by making five free throws to make it 89-78 heading into the fourth.

The Wizards got within 9 points twice on Corey Kispert’s reverse layup and two free throws. But Murray hit two foul shots and a layup off a steal to give the Nuggets a 103-90 lead with 5:09 left.

Jones hit a floating jumper to make it an 11-point game but Porter and Caldwell-Pope hit back-to-back three-pointers to put Denver up 109-92, safely ahead for the rest of the way. –

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