WASHINGTON – Nikola Jokic had 15 points and 11 assists, and the Denver Nuggets beat the fading Washington Wizards 113-108 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.
Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and Torrey Craig also added 15 points for the Nuggets, who were playing for the first time since clinching their first playoff berth in six years with Monday’s win in Boston.
Eight players reached double figures for Denver, which is a half-game behind Western Conference leader Golden State. The Warriors played later Thursday.
Bradley Beal scored 25 points and Tomas Satoransky had 16 points and 10 assists for Washington, which lost its third straight.
Warriors 112, Pacers 89
OAKLAND, Calif. – Kevin Durant had 15 points, six assists and three blocked shots after losing a close friend earlier in the day, and Golden State ran away from Indiana.
Durant led a balanced Warriors attack, playing the same day childhood friend Cliff Dixon was shot to death in Atlanta. Warriors guard Quinn Cook also was close with Dixon as they’re all from the Washington D.C./Maryland area.
Stephen Curry scored 12 of his 15 points with four 3-pointers during the Warriors’ 35-point third quarter in which they held Indiana to 19.
Tyreke Evans scored 20 points off the bench and Thaddeus Young added 18 points for the Pacers.
Hawks 117, Jazz 114
ATLANTA –Trae Young scored 23 points, including a go-ahead three-point play, and Atlanta ended Utah’s five-game winning streak.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 34 points.
It was a costly loss. The Jazz entered the game fifth in the Western Conference but only a half-game ahead of a pack of three teams tied for sixth.
Pistons 118, Suns 98
PHOENIX – Wayne Ellington scored 23 points and Detroit made 17 3-pointers in a victory over Phoenix.
Andre Drummond finished with 16 points and 19 rebounds. Blake Griffin, who was rested for Detroit’s loss at Cleveland on Monday, returned and struggled with his shot, going just 4 of 17. But he finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Devin Booker scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half for the Suns, who have lost four of five. Deandre Ayton added 20 points.
Timberwolves 113, Hornets 106
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Kemba Walker scored 31 points, rookie Miles Bridges had 11 points and 12 rebounds for his first career double-double on his 21st birthday, and Charlotte handed Minnesota its fifth straight loss.
Jeremy Lamb added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who won for only the fifth time in their last 16 games.
Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 21 points and 16 rebounds.
Kings 116, Mavericks 100
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Marvin Bagley III had 22 points and 12 rebounds in his first game against fellow rookie star Luka Doncic, and Sacramento beat Dallas.
Buddy Hield scored 11 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, and De’Aaron Fox added 15 points and nine assists for Sacramento. Willie Cauley-Stein had 10 points and 18 rebounds. Former Kings forward Justin Jackson scored 19 points in his first start with Dallas. Dwight Powell added 14 points.
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