Denver center Nikola Jokic scored 30 points on 11-for-17 shooting to power the Nuggets to a 107-104 victory over the Indiana Pacers at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday night.
The Nuggets, a half-game behind New Orleans for the final playoff spot, have won three in a row. The Pacers, who saw a five-game winning streak end, are fifth in Eastern Conference and 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia.
Jokic chipped in with six rebounds and seven assists. Will Barton added 24 points and 10 rebounds for Denver.
Victor Oladipo scored 15 of his 25 points in fourth quarter. Oladipo added four steals and seven assists, and Domantas Sabonis added 14 points off the bench.
The Nuggets have won eight consecutive games against Indiana in Denver. The Nuggets also won last season’s home game in London.
Thaddeus Young sank two free throws to cut the Nuggets’ lead to 91-89. Jamal Murray followed with a 3-pointer to start an 11-0 spurt to give the Nuggets a 100-89 edge. The closest the Pacers got was the final score when Darren Collison, who finished with 11 points, sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Pacers shot 48 percent and the Nuggets 46 percent.
Murray sank a 14-foot jumper at the buzzer to give the Nuggets a 49-46 halftime lead.
The Nuggets opened the third quarter with an 11-0 run, starting with three 3-pointers, to grab a 60-46 advantage. Two of the 3s were by Wilson Chandler. The Pacers answered with a 10-0 spurt, but it was short-lived. Denver came back with its own 9-0 run to make it 70-56. Indiana narrowed the gap to 77-74 after three quarters.
The Pacers shot 46.3 percent in the opening half while the Nuggets made 41.2 percent. Denver had a 26-21 rebounding edge and the Nuggets had nine offensive rebounds. Indiana had eight turnovers, three more than Denver.
The Nuggets led 27-26 after one quarter. Barton scored the first nine points as the Nuggets took a 9-2 lead. Denver led 17-7 before Indiana went on a 9-1 run to close deficit to 18-16.
--Field Level Media