EditorsNote: Fix in 5th graf
Nikola Jokic had 39 points and 12 rebounds, Paul Millsap scored 18 points and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Charlotte Hornets 123-110 on Saturday.
Gary Harris added 17 off the bench for Denver, which has won five straight and nine of its last 11.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 20 points, while Marvin Williams, Bismack Biyombo and Malik Monk scored 16 apiece.
Denver led by five after three quarters and quickly pushed it to 10 on two 3-pointers by Monte Morris and an alley-oop dunk by Mason Plumlee that made it 97-87.
The Hornets pulled within 99-93 on a fadeaway jumper by Monk, but Trey Lyles and Millsap hit 3-pointers around a miss by Monk to give Denver a 12-point lead with 8:08 left.
The Hornets had a chance to cut it to eight midway through the fourth quarter but missed a shot. Jokic, who was on the bench for the first half of the last period, came in and tipped in a miss, then drained a 3-pointer to make it 112-97 with 4:40 left.
He sealed the victory with an offensive rebound and a three-point play with 1:10 left.
The Nuggets started to pull away early in the second half when they scored seven straight, but the Hornets clawed their way back to take a 72-71 lead on Devonte’ Graham’s 3-pointer.
Harris, in his best game since returning from a hip injury Tuesday, hit a 3-pointer from the corner and tipped in Jamal Murray’s miss to give Denver a 79-74 lead. Jokic answered a 3-pointer by Nicolas Batum, and Millsap hit two straight buckets to help increase the lead to 89-81.
Monk nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the circle at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 89-84 heading into the fourth.
Jokic scored 16 points in the first half to help the Nuggets stay in the lead at the break. Charlotte, which started a six-game, 10-day road trip through the Western Conference, was led by Biyombo. He was 6-of-7 and scored 14 points in the half to lead the Hornets in scoring.
—Field Level Media