Jokic has triple-double, Nuggets win showdown with Celtics

DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 30 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists, and the hot-shooting Denver Nuggets beat the Boston Celtics 123-111 on Sunday night in a matchup of NBA conference leaders that was delayed about 35 minutes because a powerful dunk bent one of the rims.

Jokic hit 10 of 13 shots from the field and all eight free throws in his second straight triple-double and ninth of the season. Bruce Brown added 21 points for the Nuggets, who shot 57% from the floor and made 17 of 30 3-pointers.

Denver won for the 10th time in 12 games, snapped a six-game skid against Boston and opened a one-game lead in the Western Conference.

The Nuggets led by as many as 18 and waited out a long delay with 6:43 left as a crew struggled to re-level the rim after a dunk by Boston’s Robert Williams III. It took six workers, two ladders, a level, phone calls and eventually a crew member taking the rim off the backboard before it was fixed.

Players were allowed a brief warmup before play resumed, and the Nuggets pulled away.

Jaylen Brown scored 30 points and Jayson Tatum added 25 for Boston, which shot just 9 of 33 from 3-point range in the opener of a four-game trip. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Celtics, whose lead in the East was sliced to 1 1/2 games.

GRIZZLIES 118, KINGS 108

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant scored 35 points, Tyus Jones added 18 and Memphis broke open a close game in the fourth quarter to beat Sacramento.

Dillon Brooks had 15 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 14 as the Grizzlies won their third straight game. Morant added eight rebounds and five assists. Jones had eight assists and Steven Adams tied his career high with 23 rebounds.

De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 19 points, and Malik Monk scored 18 off the bench. Domantas Sabonis had 18 points and 14 rebounds.

WIZARDS 118, BUCKS 95

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Rui Hachimura had 26 points, Kristaps Porzingis scored 22 and Washington defeated short-handed Milwaukee for its season-best fifth consecutive victory.

The scuffling Bucks played without Giannis Antetokounmpo, who sat out due to left knee soreness. Milwaukee has dropped five of six.

Jrue Holiday also missed the game with an illness, and Khris Middleton sat out for the eighth consecutive game due to right knee soreness.

Daniel Gafford had 17 points for the Wizards (17-21), who played without leading scorer Bradley Beal. He is dealing with left hamstring soreness.

Bobby Portis led Milwaukee with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

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The Associated Press