December 29, 2019 / 12:48 AM / 2 months ago

Jokic's 31 points lead Nuggets over Grizzlies

Nikola Jokic had a season-high 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, Will Barton scored 20 and had seven assists, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Memphis Grizzlies 119-110 on Saturday.

Dec 28, 2019; Denver, Colorado, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard De'Anthony Melton (0) before the game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It was Jokic’s seventh triple-double of the season.

Jamal Murray and Mason Plumlee had 15 points each for the Nuggets, who had seven players reach double figures in scoring to rebound from Wednesday’s 112-100 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Jaren Jackson Jr. had 20 points, De’Anthony Melton had 17, Ja Morant scored 16 and Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies. Brandon Clarke finished with 15 points.

Denver played without forward Paul Millsap, who sat with a contusion on his left thigh, giving Plumlee his first start of the season.

The Grizzlies shot just 3 of 15 from the floor in the first quarter and went 6 minutes, 52 seconds between makes spanning the first and second periods.

The Nuggets led by five midway through the first but took control with a 16-6 run to end the period. Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins called two timeouts to try to keep the game within reach but Denver led 26-11 after the first 12 minutes.

The lead quickly grew to 34-13 on Michael Porter Jr.’s 3-pointer early in the second and then was 23 after Jokic fed Murray on an alley-oop and a driving dunk on separate possessions.

Jokic picked up his third foul with 3:34 left in the first half and went to the bench to join Plumlee, who also had three fouls. The Grizzlies took advantage, going on a 17-5 run to end the half and went to the locker room down just 50-39.

They opened the second half on a 10-2 run to get within three but Denver responded by scoring 16 of the next 20 points to go back up by 15 and led 82-68 heading into the fourth quarter.

Valanciunas hit two 3-pointers and a finger roll to make it 91-83 with 8:40 left. The Grizzlies got within seven with 5:15 left but couldn’t get any closer.

—Field Level Media

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