NBA: Jokic triple-double helps Nuggets edge Wolves

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Feb 03 2019 01:04 PM

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) rebounds the ball as Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) guards him during the third quarter at Target Center. Harrison Barden, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Nikola Jokic had 13 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists for his ninth triple-double of the season, and the Denver Nuggets held on to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 107-106 in Minneapolis on Saturday night.

Malik Beasley scored 22 points, Will Barton finished with 20 points and Monte Morris had 17 points and 10 assists for Denver, which has won six straight.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 31 points and 12 rebounds and Jerryd Bayless had 15 points and 10 assists for Minnesota.

Denver was again without its starting backcourt. Point guard Jamal Murray missed his fourth straight game with a left ankle sprain and shooting guard Gary Harris was sidelined with a right adductor strain.

The result allowed Nuggets coach Michael Malone to clinch the job as the coach of Team LeBron in the All-Star Game. Malone and his staff will be on the bench for the Feb. 17 game in Charlotte, N.C.

The Nuggets had to hold on after turning it over with 14 seconds left and leading by one. The Timberwolves called a timeout but Luol Deng missed a corner 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left.

The Nuggets led by one after three quarters and increased it to 98-92 midway through the fourth on a 3-pointer by Trey Lyles. Dario Saric and Josh Okogie hit from long range around a missed floater by Morris to tie it at 98 with 6:14 left.

Jokic checked back in and fed Torrey Craig for a layup, and Morris hit a jumper in the lane to give Denver a four-point lead.

Minnesota stayed close despite missing six straight shots and going 3 minutes, 30 seconds without a point. Towns split a pair of free throws to break the drought but Denver never gave up the lead. Jokic got his 10th assist with a long pass to a streaking Beasley, who hit a layup to make it 107-104 with 1:02 left.

Denver trailed by nine after one but climbed back into it with a 12-2 run early in the second to take a 45-42 lead. Minnesota led 64-61 at halftime.

The Nuggets took the lead early in the third quarter but Minnesota fought back with a 10-0 run. The Timberwolves led 85-79 after a jumper by Towns but Denver finished the period on a 10-3 run to lead 89-88 heading into the fourth.

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