NBA: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets stop Pelicans in OT
Nikola Jokic had 46 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and four blocks, Aaron Gordon scored 28 points, and the host Denver Nuggets rallied to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 138-130 on Sunday night.
Jokic had 30 of his points in the fourth quarter and overtime in his 17th triple-double of the season. Monte Morris had 18 points, Bones Hyland 11 and JaMychal Green 10 for the Nuggets, who scored the last 12 points.
Good gritty WIN 💪 pic.twitter.com/EfK9EjhWbP
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) March 7, 2022
Brandon Ingram scored 38 points, CJ McCollum had 24, Jonas Valanciunas finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds before fouling out, and Devonte’ Graham had 12 points for the Pelicans.
After New Orleans jumped out to a 130-126 lead to start overtime, Morris hit a 3-pointer and Gordon dunked off an offensive rebound to go ahead by one. Ingram was called for an offensive foul on the other end, and Jokic drained a 3-pointer to make it 134-130 with 1:30 left.
After trading turnovers, Jokic hit a foul line floater to seal it with 28.3 seconds left.
Joker up to 46 points. What a show. pic.twitter.com/ymf6M7dVGJ
— NBA (@NBA) March 7, 2022
Denver led by five at halftime, but the Pelicans then went on a 13-2 run to take a 72-71 lead with about 5 1/2 minutes left in the third period.
The Nuggets went back in front 80-77 but two technical fouls, including coach Michael Malone’s second, spurred a New Orleans 17-4 run and a 94-84 lead heading into the fourth.
Denver got within five with 5:50 left, but Herbert Jones and McCollum hit 3-pointers around a Gordon dunk to make it 118-107 with 3:22 left.
Jokic scored six straight points and answered Valanciunas’ putback with two free throws to make it 120-116 with 1:46 left. Ingram and Morris traded baskets and two more Jokic free throws made it 122-120.
Graham made one of two free throws and Jokic dunked with 14.7 seconds left to cut the deficit to one point. Ingram split a pair of free throws with 12.7 seconds left, and Jokic sent it to overtime with two foul shots.
The Nuggets built a 21-point lead late in the first quarter, but New Orleans was within eight in the final seconds of the half, and then Ingram made a hook shot from halfcourt at the buzzer to make it 62-57 at intermission.
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