Nikola Jokic had 25 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists for his first triple-double of the season before being ejected late in the game, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat 113-96 on Monday night.
Will Barton also scored 25, Monte Morris scored 14, Jeff Green had 13 and Aaron Gordon had 10 for the Nuggets.
Jimmy Butler had 31 points and eight assists, Duncan Robinson scored 13, Tyler Herro added 11 and Markieff Morris and Bam Adebayo 10 apiece for Miami.
The game was all but over with Denver leading 111-94 with 2:39 left when things erupted. Jokic brought the ball up the court after a rebound and Morris bodied him hard for a foul at center court. Jokic reacted by running at Morris and putting a hard shoulder on him from behind, knocking Morris to the court.
Morris stood for a moment before going back down on the court. A stretcher was brought out as the team huddled around him but he was able to walk off the court.
Both players were ejected.
The Nuggets led most of the way, and Jokic hit two free throws to put Denver ahead 51-36 with 4:56 left in the second. Denver went into the intermission leading 64-49.
Monte Morris made two baskets coming out of halftime and Barton drained a 3-pointer to put Denver ahead 71-51 just two minutes into the third quarter. Adebayo made a 3-pointer but the Nuggets had an 8-2 burst to make it 79-56.
Miami tried to chip away, getting within 17 on a couple of possessions but Bones Hyland made a 3-pointer to help Denver close the period on a 7-2 run to lead 91-70 entering the fourth quarter.
Herro opened the fourth quarter with a pair of 3-pointers that got the Heat within 92-78 with 9:53 left but Denver started to pull away.
Gordon dunked and hit a 16-footer, Jokic drained a rainbow 15-footer and Barton made a 3-pointer to make it 101-83 with 6:48 left.
The Heat closed within 13 but Barton hit two 3-pointers to ice it.
–Field Level Media