Jokic makes triple-double history as Nuggets rout Bucks

Nikola Jokic recorded his 50th career triple-double with 37 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to help the Denver Nuggets cool off the Milwaukee Bucks 128-97.

Tuesday night’s NBA results

  • VIDEO: Match highlights and big plays from Tuesday’s action
  • Updated season standings

Denver Nuggets 128-97 Milwaukee Bucks

For Jokic, it was his ninth triple-double of the season and it came one night after he finished with 39 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists in a win against the Bulls. Denver secured their third win in a row to open a five-game road trip.

Jokic is the ninth player in NBA history with 50-plus triple-doubles, joining Oscar Robertson (181), Russell Westbrook (156), Magic Johnson (138), Jason Kidd (107), LeBron James (97), Wilt Chamberlain (78), Larry Bird (59) and James Harden (53).

The Nuggets improved to 41-9 when Jokic finishes with a triple-double and were very effective on offense, shooting 55.8 per cent (53-for-95) as they snapped the Bucks’ five-game winning streak despite Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 27 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Antetokounmpo also had his streak of four consecutive games scoring 35 or more points halted by a strong effort from the Nuggets’ front court.

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The Nuggets’ zone defense contributed to Milwaukee shooting only 27.5 per cent from three-point range (11-for-40) for the game. Denver also dominated in the paint, outscoring Milwaukee 56-32, while also posting a 20-7 edge in second-chance points.

Phoenix Suns 114-104 Los Angeles Lakers

Dario Saric scored 21 points off the bench, and the visiting Phoenix Suns defeated the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers 114-104 despite losing All-Star Devin Booker to an ejection in the third quarter.

Mikal Bridges had 19 points, Deandre Ayton and Booker added 17 and Jae Crowder scored 15 on four three-pointers for the Suns, who won their third in a row and their sixth in seven games. The win allowed the Suns to tie the Lakers for the No 2 spot in the Western Conference.

Phoenix’s Chris Paul had 10 assists to go along with eight points. LeBron James had 38 points and six assists for the Lakers, who were without center Marc Gasol (health and safety protocols) and forward Kyle Kuzma (heel contusion). Dennis Schroder scored 17 points, Talen Horton-Tucker chipped in 16 and Markieff Morris finished with 12.

Los Angeles Clippers 112-117 Boston Celtics

Kemba Walker scored 25 points and the Boston Celtics held on to defeat the visiting Los Angeles Clippers 117-112.

Jaylen Brown returned after missing a 111-110 win against the Washington Wizards on Sunday and finished with 18 points. Jayson Tatum and Payton Pritchard contributed 14 points each for Boston, who have won three in a row.

Shortly before tip-off, it was announced that Reggie Jackson would start in place of Clippers leading scorer Kawhi Leonard (26.8), who ended up sitting out because of back spasms.

Jackson scored a season-high 25 points and Paul George finished with 32 points to lead the Clippers, who have lost two in a row.

Tatum had missed six straight shots before making two in a row to give Boston their biggest lead at 111-100 with 4:23 left.

The Clippers whittled the lead to four with 1:53 remaining, but George missed threes on two straight possessions before making one with 10.9 seconds on the clock to cut the deficit to 114-112.

Daniel Theis then made free throws with 10.2 seconds left to seal the win.

Atlanta Hawks 94-80 Miami Heat

Trae Young went on a personal 13-1 run in the fourth quarter, helping the Atlanta Hawks cool off the host Miami Heat 94-80.

Young, who had just five points through three quarters, caught fire in the fourth as Atlanta snapped Miami’s six-game win streak, which had been the longest active run in the NBA.

Averaging 26.5 points coming into the game, Young finished with 18 points and 10 assists. During Young’s 13-1 run, Miami managed just a single free throw by Andre Iguodala. This was the debut for Nate McMillan as Atlanta’s interim coach. The Hawks fired Lloyd Pierce on Monday after a 14-20 start.

Miami were led by Goran Dragic and Duncan Robinson, who scored 14 points each. But Jimmy Butler, the Heat’s leader in points, assists and steals, missed his second straight game due to a right knee injury.

The Hawks were also powered by John Collins (17 points), Kevin Huerter (16 points) and Clint Capela (10 points and a game-high 17 rebounds). Seven of Capela’s rebounds were on the offensive glass.

Memphis Grizzlies 125-111 Washington Wizards

Ja Morant scored 35 points and De’Anthony Melton sank a career-high six three-pointers to propel the visiting Memphis Grizzlies to a 125-111 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Morant made 11 of 18 shots from the floor and added 10 assists to pace the Grizzlies to their third win in four games.

Melton and Dillon Brooks finished with 20 points apiece for Memphis, and Brandon Clarke had 14 while being inserted into the starting line-up in place of Kyle Anderson (respiratory illness). Anderson had started all 29 games in which he had played this season.

Washington’s Bradley Beal scored 23 points and Russell Westbrook added 23 to go along with a season-high-tying 15 assists. Westbrook, however, was responsible for eight of the team’s 22 turnovers.

New York Knicks 93-119 San Antonio Spurs

Trey Lyles scored a season-high 18 points to lead a balanced San Antonio attack as the Spurs ruled the second half and derailed the New York Knicks 119-93 in San Antonio.

The Spurs led by four points at the half and outscored New York by 15 points in the third quarter. Patty Mills and Lyles combined for 17 points in the period for San Antonio in the surge, which made the fourth quarter all but academic.

San Antonio were playing the second game of a home back-to-back against teams from New York City after losing to Brooklyn in overtime on Monday.

Dejounte Murray added 17 points for the Spurs, with Mills and Luka Samanic scoring 14 each, Lonnie Walker IV hitting for 11 points and DeMar DeRozan contributing 10 points and 11 assists.

Immanuel Quickley led New York with 26 points off the bench. RJ Barrett added 15, Julius Randle scored 14 and took 11 rebounds, and Frank Ntilikina poured in 13 points. Nerlens Noel had 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

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