NBA: Nikola Jokic posts 100th triple-double, Nuggets pound Rockets
Jamal Murray scored 32 points and six assists, and Nikola Jokic recorded his 100th career triple-double as the Denver Nuggets rolled to a 133-112 wire-to-wire victory over the host Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.
Jokic registered 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in three quarters of action to become the sixth player in NBA history to reach 100. Russell Westbrook holds the NBA mark of 198 triple-doubles, followed by Oscar Robertson (181), Magic Johnson (138), Jason Kidd (107) and LeBron James (106).
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Michael Porter Jr. added 17 points as Denver won for the sixth time in its past seven games. Bruce Brown had 15 for the Nuggets.
Houston’s Jalen Green had 17 points in 19 minutes in his return from a two-game absence due to a groin injury. Tari Eason had 17 points and 12 rebounds off the bench, Kenyon Martin Jr. added 15 points, and Daishen Nix scored 14 for the Rockets, who have lost 10 straight games and 30 of their past 34.
Jokic’s tip-in with 5:21 remaining in the third quarter allowed him to reach the milestone.
Jokic has 24 triple-doubles this season, including 15 in his last 20 games. The Nuggets are 24-0 when the two-time reigning NBA MVP records a triple-double this season.
Murray was 12 of 18 from the field and sank 5 of 10 from 3-point range.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 14 points and six assists, and Aaron Gordon added 11 points and seven rebounds as Denver shot 57.6 percent from the field and made 16 of 37 from 3-point range.
The Rockets connected on 49.5 percent of their attempts, but shot just 29 percent (9 of 31) from behind the arc. Josh Christopher added 11 points and TyTy Washington Jr. scored 12 for Houston.
Murray scored 23 points in the first half as Denver held a 74-54 lead. The Nuggets shot 62.5 percent from the field in the half.
Murray poured in 16 points in the opening quarter as the Nuggets led by as many as 17 before settling for a 41-30 lead.
Houston moved within 45-40 with 9:08 left in the first half before Denver responded with a 9-2 run to lead by 12. The Nuggets weren’t threatened again and stretched their lead to 26 in the third quarter.