Jokic leads Denver Nuggets past New York Knicks
NEW YORK – Nikola Jokic scored 32 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets schooled the New York Knicks in a 113-99 NBA victory on Saturday.
The Nuggets won for just the third time in 10 games — and it wasn’t even close.
Second-year big man Zeke Nnaji contributed a career-high 21 points off the bench for a Denver team that never trailed.
It was a third straight defeat for the Knicks, who fell to 5-8 on their home floor at Madison Square Garden.
“I like something here,” reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Jokic said of the historic Manhattan arena — where he exchanged courtside comments with famous Knicks fan Spike Lee. “I don’t know what it is.”
Jokic connected on 14 of his 19 shots from the floor, including three of seven from 3-point range.
He handed out five assists in just under 27 minutes on court in his third game back since missing four games in late November with a wrist injury.
The Nuggets capitalized on the defensive lapses of the Knicks, pushing their lead to as many as 30 points and connecting on 52% of their shots from the field.
New York, trailing 60-49 at halftime, chipped away at Denver’s lead early in the second half, trimming the deficit to six points.
But Denver responded with a 23-3 scoring run and took a 21-point lead into the fourth quarter.
The Knicks, limited to 40% shooting, remained in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, outside the playoff window. The Nuggets, at 11-11, are eighth in the West.