Nikola Jokic has 21 points and 16 assists, Nuggets hold off Dutant, Suns 119-111

PHOENIX (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 16 assists, Reggie Jackson added 20 points and the Denver Nuggets held off the Phoenix Suns 119-111 for a hard-fought victory Friday night.

Down 17 in the first half, the Suns — on a night Kevin Durant moved into 10th place on the NBA’s career scoring list — cut Denver’s lead to 94-91 entering the fourth.

Phoenix tied it three times early in the fourth — and the game stayed within one possession for much of the period — but Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. were among multiple players who made clutch buckets to keep the defending champion Nuggets ahead. Denver has won four straight.

Jusuf Nurkic led the Suns — playing without Devin Booker — with a season-high 31 points but fouled out after being called for a charge with 45 seconds remaining, which was upgraded to a Flagrant 1, meaning Jokic got to shoot two free throws. He made one of two for a 115-111 lead and Denver retained possession.

Durant added 30 points but shot just 8 of 25 from the field, including 0 for 5 in the fourth quarter. He moved into 10th place on scoring list late in the second quarter, driving the baseline for a layup to pass Moses Malone with 27,411 career points.


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Franz Wagner scored 31 points, Paolo Banchero had 28 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists and Orlando won its ninth straight to tie the franchise record, beating Washington.

Moritz Wagner added 18 points to help Orlando beat Washington for the second time in three nights. The Magic have had four nine-game winning streaks, previously in 1994, 2001 and 2010-11. They are one of only two NBA franchises without a double-digit winning streak. The Indiana Pacers’ longest streak also is nine games.

Kyle Kuzma scored 27 points for Washington. The Wizards have lost 11 of 12.

CELTICS 125, 76ERS 119

BOSTON (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 21 points before he was ejected for arguing near the end of the third quarter, Derrick White also had 21 and Boston beat depleted Philadelphia.

Without its top two scorers, Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, the 76ers led 116-115 with under three minutes left before giving up the next eight points. Patrick Beverley had 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Philadelphia, which has lost four of six.

De’Anthony Melton was leading the 76ers in scoring with 21 points when he fouled out with 5:08 to play and Boston leading 111-108. Jaylen Brown and Al Horford each scored 20 points for the Celtics, who had a full complement – until Tatum fouled out.


DALLAS (AP) — Desmond Bane scored 30 points and depleted Memphis won consecutive games for the first time this season, beating Dallas with Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic out for personal reasons.

Doncic, third in the NBA in scoring at 31.1 points per game, missed a game for the first time this season as did Dallas’ third-leading scorer, Tim Hardaway Jr., out with back spasms.

Derrick Jones Jr. and Grant Williams scored 16 points apiece to lead the Mavericks. Kyrie Irving had a season-low 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting, and Dallas shot a season-worst 37.0%.


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Trey Murphy scored 18 points in his first appearance this season and New Orleans sent San Antonio to its 14th straight loss.

Spurs rookie forward Victor Wembanyama, the first player taken in the NBA draft, was held out because of right hip tightness. San Antonio’s losing streak is its second-longest. The Spurs lost 16 in arow last season, when they finished 22-60 and won the NBA draft lottery.

CJ McCollum scored 19 points and Herb Jones added 17 points and three steals for New Orleans, which won its second straight.


TORONTO (AP) — Jalen Brunson had 22 points, Josh Hart scored 15 of his 17 in the third quarter and New York beat Toronto to match a season high with its third straight victory.

Julius Randle had 20 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to help New York improved to 10-0 against teams with losing records.

Scottie Barnes scored 29 points for Toronto.



The Associated Press