Jokic has 26 points, 18 rebounds and 16 assists to lead Nuggets over Cavs, 130-101

Sun, Mar 31, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Jokic has 26 points, 18 rebounds and 16 assists to lead Nuggets over Cavs, 130-101

DENVER (AP) - Nikola Jokic had 26 points, 18 rebounds and 16 assists for his 22nd triple-double of the season, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 130-101 on Sunday to clinch a playoff berth.

Jokic got his 128th career triple-double despite dealing with a sore right wrist that nearly kept him out of Friday's loss to Minnesota.

Denver guard Jamal Murray missed his fifth straight game due to knee and ankle injuries but has progressed, coach Michael Malone said before the game.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added a season-high 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting from 3-point range as Denver snapped a two-game home losing streak. Reggie Jackson had 19 points starting in place of the injured Murray and Michael Porter Jr. also scored 19 points for the Nuggets (52-23), who entered play a half-game behind Minnesota and Oklahoma City for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Evan Mobley scored 23 points and Jarrett Allen had 19 for Cleveland, which has dropped eight of 12. The Cavaliers (45-30) began the day a half-game ahead of New York for fourth in the East.

Donovan Mitchell, playing in his second game since missing six with a broken nose, made his first two shots of the game but went 1 of 10 the rest of the way to finish with 13 points for Cleveland.

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Jokic notched the triple-double with a lob pass to Aaron Gordon to give the Nuggets an 85-66 lead with 5:04 left in the third.

He nearly had a triple-double in the first half with 14 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, but it was Christian Braun who sparked a run to give Denver a halftime lead.

Braun stole an inbounds pass and hit a layup, drained a corner 3-pointer off a tip-assist from Jokic and made a driving layup that put the Nuggets ahead 58-50.

Denver outscored the Cavaliers 36-21 in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: Play at the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night.

Nuggets: Host the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night.

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