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Jokic's 26 aspects, 22 rebounds rally Nuggets past Clippers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nikola Jokic kept the Denver Nuggets from blowing another game with a history-making performance.He had 26 points and 22 rebounds, rallying Denver past the Los Angeles Clippers 103-100 on Sunday night after the Nuggets wasted a 17-point lead.Jokic also had eight assists, becoming the first player to record 25-plus points, 20-plus…

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nikola Jokic saved the Denver Nuggets from blowing but some other sport with a history-making performance.

He had 26 aspects and 22 rebounds, rallying Denver past the Los Angeles Clippers 103-100 on Sunday night after the Nuggets wasted a 17-point lead.

Jokic moreover had eight assists, changing into the first participant to file 25-plus aspects, 20-plus rebounds and 5-plus assists in consecutive video games since Charles Barkley in 1988.

The Nuggets led by 19 aspects in opposition to Charlotte of their previous sport at residence and misplaced honest earlier than Christmas. It made for a elaborate holiday at coach Michael Malone’s condo.

“I wasn’t very mighty stress-free to be spherical. I turned into as soon as roughly a scrooge,” he mentioned. “I apologized to my spouse, my daughters and my dogs.”

Jokic had 29 aspects, 21 rebounds and 5 assists within the Charlotte defeat. For some time Sunday, it looked as if the Nuggets would give away but some other one, this time on the avenue.

Luke Kennard virtually made it happen. He came off the bench from bad misfortune and hit a 3-pointer from the accurate nook with 19 seconds excellent that got the Clippers to 101-100.

“It turned into as soon as a miniature bit little bit of an lope there on the tip,” Malone mentioned.

Jokic turned into as soon as looking to eradicate an inbounds ride when he got fouled by Eric Bledsoe, sending them every crashing into the Clippers bench. Jokic made every free throws to lengthen the Nuggets’ lead to three.

Brandon Boston Jr. took the Clippers’ excellent shot under heavy tension from Davon Reed, but his attainable tying 3-pointer turned into as soon as off the label on the buzzer. Reed honest signed a second 10-day contract with Denver.

Boston and Bledsoe led the Clippers with 18 aspects apiece. Bledsoe had 10 assists. Ivica Zubac had 17 aspects and 11 rebounds.

The Clippers had been fiddling with out Paul George, who is sidelined for as a lot as a month with an ulnar collateral ligament jog in his appropriate elbow. They misplaced for the fourth time in 5 video games.

“We’re lacking our most efficient nearer,” Terance Mann mentioned. “We got to a shut sport and nearly stole it.”

After scoring honest 5 aspects within the third, Jokic scored nine within the fourth to boot to to knocking down seven rebounds.

Will Barton added 17 aspects for Denver, which snapped a two-sport skid.

“We wanted this one,” Malone mentioned. “We replied the contrivance we desired to, getting stops, sharing the ball.”

Jokic helped the Nuggets tie the sport at 93-all within the fourth. He fed Barton for the tying jumper after scoring on a hook shot and hitting a pair of free throws. Jokic’s 3-pointer gave Denver its first lead of the fourth, 96-94.

The Clippers erased a 17-point deficit within the third. They got outscored 10-2 to originate the quarter, then closed on a 26-5 bustle to guide 83-79 going into the fourth.

Four reserves helped key the spurt, with Boston and Serge Ibaka hitting 3-pointers and Amir Coffey scoring on a power. Bledsoe added seven aspects.

“Our guys did a accurate job and we had been in station to get the sport,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue mentioned. “I turned into as soon as pleased and pleased with the contrivance our young guys performed.”

Monte Morris scored all 5 Denver aspects. The Clippers’ protection denied Jokic all over the rim, leading to transition baskets for them on the offensive close.

“We constructed a 17-point lead and then all of a surprising all the pieces changed,” Malone mentioned. “The Clippers turned very aggressive, they got out and ran and had us on our heels. To climate that storm and keep collectively turned into as soon as nice to see.”

A total of 4 players had been out on story of of health and safety protocols, including Clippers starter Reggie Jackson. Fellow starter Marcus Morris exited protocols earlier than the sport, but stays out while he goes thru reconditioning. Denver’s Michael Porter Jr. and Bol Bol had been in protocols.

HE SAID IT

“It’s virtually change into frequent and it’s upsetting on story of you don’t in actuality need this to be what frequent is.” — Malone on the COVID-19 absences plaguing the league.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Jokic now has six video games of 20-plus aspects and 20-plus rebounds, essentially the most in group of workers history since Denver joined the NBA in 1976-77. The previous file of 5 turned into as soon as held by Marcus Camby. ... They got lend a hand to .500 at 16-16. ... They traveled with out six players.

Clippers: George complained of soreness in his elbow after Wednesday’s get at Sacramento and had an MRI, which printed the ligament jog. ... Backup mountainous man Isaiah Hartenstein overlooked his second straight sport with a left ankle sprain. ... Signed Xavier Moon to a 10-day contract under the league’s COVID-connected hardship allowance.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: At Golden Voice on Tuesday.

Clippers: Host Brooklyn on Monday to total a lend a hand-to-lend a hand.

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Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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