Nikola Jokic amassed 23 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists to record his fourth triple-double of the season while leading the host Denver Nuggets to a 117-109 win over the slumping San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.
San Antonio owned a 100-99 lead after Joffrey Lauvergne’s hook shot with 8:36 to play, but the closing eight minutes at the Pepsi Center belonged to Nuggets.
Denver forged a 15-3 run over next four-plus minutes, as Gary Harris scored seven points down the stretch and Will Barton and Wilson Chandler added four points each.
Barton had 20 points for Denver while Chandler and Jamal Murray scored 17 each. Harris hit for 15 points, and Trey Lyles added 11. It was Denver’s first win over the Spurs in three meetings this year, as the Nuggets to snap a five-game losing streak to San Antonio.
San Antonio, with leading scorer and rebounder LaMarcus Aldridge missing the game due to a sore knee, lost its third consecutive contest and fifth in the past six outings.
The Spurs got a career-high 26 points and 11 rebounds from Lauvergne, 17 points from Tony Parker, 12 each from Davis Bertans and Dejounte Murray, and 10 points from Pau Gasol.
The Spurs led 61-58 at halftime after a first half that featured 11 lead changes and three ties. San Antonio outshot Denver 64.9 percent to 46.8 percent before the break. The Spurs ended the night at 53.7 percent, the Nuggets at 49.5 percent.
Bertans poured in 12 points in the first half to lead San Antonio while Parker had 11 and Murray scored 10. The Spurs’ reserves outscored Denver’s bench players 26-9 in the first half, 66-25 for the game.
Denver was led at the half by Jokic’s 15 points, with Barton hitting for 14 and Murray adding 10 points in the first 24 minutes of play.
The Tuesday game was the fourth of six contests in San Antonio’s annual “Rodeo Road Trip,” caused by a rodeo in their home arena, and the Spurs’ final game before the All-Star break. The team returns to the floor on Feb. 23 back at Denver.
The Nuggets head to Milwaukee for a game on Thursday before getting eight days off for the All-Star break.
–Field Level Media