Jokic, Nuggets survive just 128-125 in OT; Booker set aside

DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had another monster triple-double, Aaron Gordon pitched a vital dunk that bounced back after an overtime review, and the Denver Nuggets rallied for a 128-125 win over the Phoenix Suns Sunday evening.

Jokic had 41 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists for his 83rd career triple-double. The reigning two-time NBA MVP had a week ago with 40 points, 27 rebounds and 10 assists.

“Sick,” Gordon said of the stats Jokic is releasing these days. “Those are video game numbers.”

It was the fourth 40-point, 15-rebound, 15-assist game in NBA history, according to ESPN statistics and information. He joined Oscar Robertson (1961, 1962) and James Harden (2016).

Phoenix star Devin Booker lasted just 4:20 in his return from a groin injury, scoring two runs after making 58 against New Orleans in his previous start.

Jamal Murray tied it in regulation for Denver on a dunk with 10.7 seconds left. But it was Gordon’s OT slam that helped propel the Nuggets to victory. He was initially called for an offensive foul, but a review determined Landry Shamet was moving, awarding Gordon with a field goal and a free throw.

Best in-game dunk I’ve ever had?

“Yes,” Gordon said. “Because of time and score.”

Jokic also had a grip on the dunk, as he was close to Gordon in the game.

“I was open,” Jokic said.

It certainly increased the noise level in the building.

“Loudest I’ve heard in this place in a long time for a non-playoff game,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone.

Phoenix had a chance to tie it up in the final seconds of OT, only to throw away a pass.

The Suns, who led by 12 in the third quarter, set up for a game-winning play in regulation, but Mikal Bridges was called for an offensive foul after accidentally running into a Denver player. Bridges atoned by blocking Murray’s shot just before the buzzer.

The Nuggets improved to 2-6 in games held over Christmas. The other win was in 1994 against Seattle.

Shamet came off the bench to score 31 points, matching his career high, on a night the Suns again lost Booker to his groin injury. Booker was just getting back on the court after missing the last three games with groin pain.

“I haven’t even seen him,” Suns coach Monty Williams. I looked up and he had that look on his face and I knew something was up.

Deandre Ayton added 22 points and 16 rebounds while Phoenix had six players in double figures. Chris Paul had 17 points and 16 assists, but missed five free throws.

The Suns lost eight of 11.

“Everything will be fine,” said Shamet. “The important thing is that we are doing the right things.”

Gordon finished with 28 points and Murray 26.

The Nuggets led by 15 points going into the game. Shamet scored 15 points in the second quarter to help get Phoenix back into the game.

Gordon finished 11-for-18 from the field and Jokic 16-for-25. Both extended their hitting streaks to 23 games shooting .500 or better from the field, which broke the franchise record set by Nene in 2010-11.


Alone: ​​Phoenix guard Cameron Payne (sprained right foot) and forward Cam Johnson (torn meniscus) had intense training on Christmas morning. Payne hasn’t played since December 13 and Johnson since November 4.

Nuggets: Forward Jeff Green broke his hand against Portland on Friday. The team said it will be reevaluated in four weeks. … forward Michael Porter Jr. had seven points on 3-of-11 shooting in his second game after a heel injury.


Suns: in Memphis Tuesday night.

Nuggets: In Sacramento on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.


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