Jose Alvarado fired career-highs of 8 three-pointers and 38 points as the host New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Denver Nuggets, 121-106, on Sunday, December 4 (Monday, December 5, Manila time).
Alvarado doubled his previous high for three-pointers on 11 attempts as the Pelicans won for the ninth time in 11 games. He led the way as the New Orleans bench outscored the Denver bench 62-18.
Zion Williamson added 25 points, Jonas Valanciunas scored 13, and Trey Murphy III and Willy Hernangomez had 12 each.
Nikola Jokic had 32 points and 16 rebounds, Aaron Gordon scored 19 points, Jamal Murray had 18, and Bruce Brown 13 for the Nuggets, who lost their second straight after a four-game winning streak.
Jokic, who led all scorers with 21 first-half points, scored the first 7 points of the third quarter to give Denver a 67-59 lead.
Valanciunas stopped the run with a three-point play, but moments later he went to the bench after committing his fifth foul while trying to slow down Jokic.
Williamson had two baskets and a layup by Dyson Daniels gave New Orleans a one-point lead.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope put the Nuggets back on top briefly before Murphy scored 6 points to help the Pelicans open an 82-75 lead.
They extended the lead to 10 before Denver trimmed it to 87-81 at the end of the third quarter.
Alvarado made a three-pointer and 4 free throws as New Orleans increased the lead to 96-83 and stayed in control the rest of the way.
Jokic scored 7 straight Nuggets points as they opened a 30-16 lead, but Alvarado came off the bench to spark the Pelicans.
He made a pair of three-pointers and Williamson added a three-point play as New Orleans closed within 31-27 at the end of the first quarter.
Devonte’ Graham hit a three-pointer and Alvarado made back-to-back 3-pointers as the Pelicans took a 36-34 lead early in the second.
They led by as many as 4 points, Denver led by as many as 6, and the score was tied twice before Murray’s layup gave the Nuggets a 60-59 halftime lead. – Rappler.com