Jokic’s triple-double not enough for Nuggets to beat Pelicans

Denver Nuggets

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram, center, drives to the rim between Denver Nuggets forwards Paul Millsap, left, and Michael Porter Jr. in the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 21, 2021, in Denver. The Pelicans won 113-108. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson each scored 30 points and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame another triple-double by Nikola Jokic to beat the Denver Nuggets 113-108 on Sunday.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 20 points for the Pelicans, who won the finale of a road trip after dropping their first two games in Portland.

Jokic had 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his 52nd career triple-double, including 11 this season. Jamal Murray added 23 points.

Trailing 83-80 going into the fourth quarter, the Nuggets put together a 9-0 run to move in front 95-92 on Jokic’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with 5:18 remaining.

The game stayed tight in the closing minutes. Ingram completed two three-point plays around a jumper by Jokic to give the Pelicans a 107-104 lead with 57 seconds to play. Lane violations by Jokic and Murray allowed Ingram to complete his first three-point play after two misses from the line.

Paul Millsap made one of two free throws for Denver but Ingram sank two more free throws to build a four-point edge for the Pelicans with 29 seconds left.

Jokic then missed a long jumper, snagged the rebound and got the ball to Murray, who also couldn’t connect. The Pelicans added four free throws down the stretch.

The Pelicans led 58-51 at halftime, closing the final 1:17 of the second quarter with six straight points capped by Eric Bledsoe’s driving layup.


Pelicans: G Lonzo Ball missed the game because of right hip flexor strain. G JJ Redick remains sidelined by a right heel injury that has kept him out for the past seven games.

Nuggets: G Gary Harris (left abductor strain) and G Monte Morris (left quadriceps strain) remain sidelined. No timeline has been established yet for their return. … F Greg Whittington was inactive because of eft knee soreness.

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