NBA: Nuggets deny Zion, Pelicans


Posted at Jan 25 2020 03:05 PM

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) scrambles for a loose ball against Denver Nuggets forward Jarred Vanderbilt (8) and guard Gary Harris (14) during the first half of their game at the Smoothie King Center. Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Nikola Jokic, Michael Porter Jr. and Torrey Craig had double-doubles as the visiting Denver Nuggets defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 113-106 on Friday night.

Zion Williamson had his second straight strong performance in a losing effort for the Pelicans. 

The No. 1 overall draft choice had 15 (points on 7-of-9 shooting) and 6 rebounds in 20 minutes two nights after scoring 22 points in 18 minutes of a loss to San Antonio in his long-awaited NBA debut.

Jokic had 27 points and 12 rebounds, Porter had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Craig had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Jerami Grant added 14 points, Will Barton had 13 and Monte Morris and Malik Beasley scored 10 each.

The Nuggets enjoyed a 56-45 rebounding advantage, which included 24 offensive rebounds.

JJ Redick led the Pelicans with 18 points, Josh Hart added 15, Brandon Ingram scored 13, Jrue Holiday 12 and E'Twaun Moore 10.

The Nuggets had an 8-point lead early in the third quarter when Grant was given a technical foul for arguing a personal foul call. Coach Michael Malone subsequently received two technicals and was ejected for arguing.

Ingram made four of five free throws and shortly thereafter Derrick Favors' layup gave New Orleans a 72-70 lead.

Denver scored the next 8 points and led by as many as 14 before finishing with a 94-82 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Pelicans scored the first four points of the fourth quarter and pulled within 97-92 when Redick made a 3-pointer with 7:30 remaining.

Grant made two free throws before Williamson went to the bench for good with 6:52 remaining. Craig and Morris made consecutive 3-pointers to compete an 8-0 run that gave Denver a 105-92 lead with 5:35 left.

Lonzo Ball's 3-pointer and Hart's 3-point play helped New Orleans get within 5, but missed a chance to get closer when Grant's offensive rebound led to two free throws.

Hart's 3-pointer cut the lead to three, but Barton grabbed an offensive rebound and made a layup for a 111-106 lead with 48 seconds left.

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