Nikola Jokic's speedy triple-double lifts Nuggets past Pistons | Inquirer Sports
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Nikola Jokic’s speedy triple-double lifts Nuggets past Pistons

/ 02:55 PM May 15, 2021
Nikola Jokic

FILE– Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets reacts following a call during the third quarter of their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on May 11, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP

Nikola Jokic recorded a triple-double in less than 27 minutes on the court, finishing with 20 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 104-91 victory over the host Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

The Nuggets (47-24) and the Clippers (47-24) are tied for third place in the Western Conference after Los Angeles fell to the Houston Rockets on Friday.

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Denver, which won its third game in a row, holds the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Clippers. Los Angeles closes the season at Oklahoma City on Sunday. The Nuggets finish at Portland on Sunday.

The Pistons’ Hamidou Diallo, who was listed as questionable due to health and safety protocols heading into the game, totaled 18 points and 12 rebounds. Josh Jackson finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

However, Detroit (20-51) shot a dismal 6-for-37 (16.2 percent) from 3-point range and lost its fourth in a row. The Pistons have dropped 11 of 13 heading into their finale, at home on Sunday against the Miami Heat.

Markus Howard also had 20 points for Denver while Vlatko Cancar had 11 points.

Monte Morris was back after sitting out the Nuggets’ Thursday game against Minnesota for rest, and he finished with 15 points off bench.

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Detroit used only eight players as Wayne Ellington (bilateral calf strain), Jerami Grant (right knee soreness), Cory Joseph (left ankle soreness), Rodney McGruder (right elbow sprain), Frank Jackson (right ankle sprain), Dennis Smith Jr. (left knee soreness), Mason Plumlee (rest) and Isaiah Stewart (personal reasons) were out.

Tyler Cook had 17 points and Deividas Sirvydis also stepped up with 16 points off the Pistons’ bench.

Saddiq Bey, who continues to be a bright spot on the Pistons’ rebuilding squad, also had 14 points, while Jahlil Okafor added 13.

Will Barton (right hamstring strain) and PJ Dozier (right adductor strain) remained out for the Nuggets.

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