fbpx

RECAP: Another triple-double for Nikola Jokic, another win for Denver Nuggets

Mar 23, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) drives to the basket as Orlando Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams (7) defends during the first half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Jokic collected 28 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists to lift the visiting Denver Nuggets to a 110-99 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday.

The triple-double was the second in as many games, 12th this season and 53rd career for Jokic, who was named the Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday.

Jamal Murray had 21 points, Will Barton added 17 and Michael Porter Jr. chipped in with 18 for the Nuggets, who have won nine of their last 11 games and nine straight against Orlando.

Read More: Denver Nuggets interested in deal for Harrison Barnes ahead of NBA trade deadline

P.J. Dozier had 14 points off the bench to help Denver extend its road winning streak to six games by taking the opener of the three-game trek.

Evan Fournier sank five 3-pointers to highlight his season-high-tying 31-point performance for the Magic, who have dropped 11 of their last 12 games. Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and Al-Farouq Aminu added 17 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort.

Orlando whittled a 24-point deficit to five on two occasions in the fourth quarter, with the latter coming after Fournier drained a 3-pointer with 7:06 to play.

The Nuggets prevented the Magic from completing the comeback, however. Jokic continued to exploit the interior before Porter drained a 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions to push the advantage to 104-92 with 2:33 remaining.

Jokic calmly sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to stake Denver to a 61-39 lead at halftime. Jokic’s long-distance attempt notwithstanding, Denver spent the majority of its time exploiting the interior to the tune of scoring 42 points in the paint while shooting a robust 56.0 percent from the floor.

Related: NBA Power Rankings – Update after first round of the playoffs

The Magic responded with a 20-6 run to start the third quarter, capped by Aaron Gordon’s 3-pointer with 6:39 to play. Fournier scored seven points in that stretch, highlighted by a fadeaway shot off the glass and a three-point play.

Prior to the game, an emotional Nuggets coach Michael Malone broke down in tears while reading the names of the 10 victims of Monday’s shooting massacre in Boulder (Colo.).

–Field Level Media