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Nikola Jokic’s triple-double lifts Nuggets over Celtics

Jan 1, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) controls the ball in the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Jokic had 30 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists and the Denver Nuggets won their eighth consecutive home game by beating the Boston Celtics 123-111 on Sunday night.

Jokic made 10 of his 13 field goal attempts and was 8 for 8 from the free throw line. It was his ninth triple-double of the season.

Denver shot 57 percent from the field (45 for 79) and improved its home record to 14-3. The three home losses came by a total of six points. The Nuggets also ended a six-game losing streak against the Celtics.

Jaylen Brown (30 points) and Jayson Tatum (25) led the Boston offense. The Celtics, who entered the contest with a four-game winning streak, fell to 11-6 on the road.

The Nuggets were 17 of 30 from behind the 3-point arc. The Celtics were 9 of 33.

Denver played without starting guard Jamal Murray (injury management). Bruce Brown replaced Murray in the starting lineup and finished with 21 points. He made four of his six 3-point attempts. Murray is averaging 31.8 minutes and 18.2 points per game this season.

Michael Porter Jr. (19), Aaron Gordon (18) and Bones Hyland (17) also scored in double figures for Denver, which led by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter.

The Nuggets led 37-28 after one quarter and 62-54 at halftime. Denver’s first-half lead peaked at 15 points in the second quarter.

Jokic led all scorers in the first half with 20 points. The Celtics were 3 of 14 on 3-point attempts in the first quarter, and 3 of 19 in the half.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla returned after missing two games with an eye injury. Guard Malcolm Brogdon and center Blake Griffin, who were unavailable for Thursday’s victory over the Los Angeles Clippers (illness), were available on Sunday. Brogdon scored four points with four assists in in 19 minutes, and Griffin did not play.

It was the second meeting between the teams this season. Boston beat Denver 131-112 on Nov. 11 in Boston.

The game was delayed for nearly 40 minutes to adjust one of the baskets following a Robert Williams dunk midway through the fourth quarter.

–Field Level Media