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Another triple-double for Nikola Jokic as Nuggets beat Cavaliers

Jan 6, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50) shoots the ball over Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman (16) in the second quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Jokic had 28 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists for his 10th triple-double of the season, Jamal Murray scored 18 points, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 121-108 on Friday night.

Michael Porter Jr. scored 16 points, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 14, Bones Hyland and Bruce Brown scored 13 apiece and Aaron Gordon added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Denver.

Caris LeVert scored 22 points, Darius Garland had 21, Cedi Osman added 15, Jarrett Allen scored 13, Evan Mobley finished with 12 and Kevin Love had 10 points for the Cavaliers.

Cleveland guard Donovan Mitchell sat out for rest.

The game was tight throughout the first half with both teams leading by five at different points. Denver ended the second quarter on a 9-2 run to lead 62-58 at intermission.

Jokic opened the second half with two 3-pointers and Murray had a tip-in and a 3-pointer to give the Nuggets a 75-62 lead with 8:52 left in the third.

Garland, Mobley and LeVert had baskets in a quick 6-0 run for the Cavaliers, but Denver got it back up to a 12-point lead on another 3-pointer by Jokic. LeVert sank two free throws to make it 88-79 late in the third, Hyland drained a pair of 3-pointers and Raul Neto made one from deep to cut the deficit to 94-82 heading into the fourth.

Murray hit a jumper to start the fourth. The game was delayed for just 38 seconds so the backboard at Cleveland’s basket could be adjusted to be level.

When play resumed, Nuggets backup center DeAndre Jordan was called for a flagrant foul on Lamar Stevens, who hit both free throws. Mobley dunked and Garland hit a layup and a free throw to get the Cavaliers within 100-91.

Hyland fed Jordan for an alley-oop and then made a layup to push the lead to 104-91. Cleveland made four straight free throws to get the deficit under 10, but Denver responded with seven straight points to go ahead by 16 with 4:43 left and closed it out.

–Field Level Media