Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray help Nuggets top Pelicans

Nikola Jokic NuggetsNBA

Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic #15 vs. Larry Nance Jr. #22 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the 4th round at the Ball Arena on January 31, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

Nikola Jokic had 26 points, 18 rebounds and 15 assists for his 16th NBA-leading brace, while Jamal Murray scored 32 points as the Denver Nuggets beat the New Orleans Pelicans 122-113 on Thursday night. Three.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aaron Gordon each scored 15 points, and Michael Porter Jr. scored 13 more points for the Nuggets, the team won for the second time in five games.

CJ McCollum and Herbert Jones each scored 21 points, Brandon Ingram finished with 16, Trey Murphy added 14, Larry Nance Jr. had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Jonas Valanciunas scored 10 points for New Orleans, which had lost nine games in a row.

The Pelicans led by 12 points in the second quarter, but Denver rallied to close the gap. Caldwell-Pope, Murray and Porter hit three points and Jokic had a three-pointer to reduce the lead to one before New Orleans finished the first half 60-57.

The Nuggets played strongly in the second half. Murray opened the scoring with a 3-pointer to equalize, Porter hit a pair of 3-pointers and Jokic gave Gordon a pitch in the 11-2 half to give Denver a 68-62 lead. full three minutes in the game.

The Nuggets extended the advantage to 78-69 thanks to Murray’s sixth 3-pointer in the mid-third round. The Pelicans cut it to five but Denver came back to take a 93-84 lead in the fourth inning.

New Orleans opened the final innings with two straight runs that resulted in the Nuggets being defeated and leading 97-84. The Pelicans scored the next five but Jeff Green’s three-point play gave Denver a 103-90 lead with 9:27 remaining.

Naji Marshall had a goal on the field and two free throws, and Nance’s steal and save knocked New Orleans out in the seventh round and forced Denver to run out of time with 8:20 left.

After a missed Murray, Ingram hit a 17-footer to make it 103-98. But Jokic scored the next five points for the Nuggets and then fed Gordon in an alley to give Denver a 110-102 lead with 4:24 remaining.

It was a 5-point lead as Jokic made a short hook, Ingram made a pair of free throws and Murray took another 3-pointer to make it 116-107 with 2:24 left, and Denver ended the game from there.


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