Another triple-double for Nikola Jokic, another win for Nuggets | Inquirer Sports
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Another triple-double for Nikola Jokic, another win for Nuggets

/ 03:24 PM March 24, 2021
   Nikola Jokic

FILE — Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets dunks the ball against the Charlotte Hornets in the first quarter at Ball Arena on March 17, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.  Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

Nikola Jokic collected 28 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists to lift the visiting Denver Nuggets to a 110-99 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday.

The triple-double was the second in as many games, 12th this season and 53rd career for Jokic, who was named the Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday.

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Jamal Murray had 21 points, Will Barton added 17 and Michael Porter Jr. chipped in with 18 for the Nuggets, who have won nine of their last 11 games and nine straight against Orlando.

P.J. Dozier had 14 points off the bench to help Denver extend its road winning streak to six games by taking the opener of the three-game trek.

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Evan Fournier sank five 3-pointers to highlight his season-high-tying 31-point performance for the Magic, who have dropped 11 of their last 12 games. Nikola Vucevic had 18 points (on 8-for-25 shooting) and Al-Farouq Aminu added 17 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort.

Orlando whittled a 24-point deficit to five on two occasions in the fourth quarter, with the latter coming after Fournier drained a 3-pointer with 7:06 to play.

The Nuggets prevented the Magic from completing the comeback, however. Jokic continued to exploit the interior before Porter drained a 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions to push the advantage to 104-92 with 2:33 remaining.

Jokic calmly sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to stake Denver to a 61-39 lead at halftime. Jokic’s long-distance attempt notwithstanding, Denver spent the majority of its time exploiting the interior to the tune of scoring 42 points in the paint while shooting a robust 56.0 percent from the floor.

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The Magic responded with a 20-6 run to start the third quarter, capped by Aaron Gordon’s 3-pointer with 6:39 to play. Fournier scored seven points in that stretch, highlighted by a fadeaway shot off the glass and a three-point play.

Prior to the game, an emotional Nuggets coach Michael Malone broke down in tears while reading the names of the 10 victims of Monday’s shooting massacre in Boulder (Colo.).

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