Versatile Nikola Jokic directs Nuggets past Raptors


Nikola Jokic got his second triple-double of the season to help the injury-riddled Denver Nuggets overcome another key absence.

Jokic capped a big night with three free throws in the final seven seconds, Kyle Lowry missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Nuggets survived the loss of leading scorer Gary Harris to beat the Toronto Raptors 106-103 on Monday night.

“To beat the number one team in the East means a lot to us,” Jokic said.

Jokic made it 104-103 with a free throw with 7.0 seconds left, then hit two more foul shots with 5.6 seconds remaining before Lowry bounced a 7.9-meter jumper off the rim.

Jokic had 23 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds, Jamal Murray scored 21 points, and Malik Beasley and Juan Hernangomez each scored 15 points for Denver. The Nuggets won their sixth straight and halted Toronto’s winning streak at eight.

“He does everything,” Murray said of Jokic. “He passes, rebounds, handles the ball. There’s nothing he really can’t do, except jump.”

Raptors coach Nick Nurse said he doesn’t see much missing from Jokic’s toolbox.

“I was kind of hoping we’d be able to disrupt him with a little bit more pressure,” Nurse said. “He just seemed to handle it. We worked hard on him, we tried to put him under some duress with the ball but it just didn’t faze him.”

Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points, Serge Ibaka had 15 and Pascal Siakam 14 for the Raptors.

Harris scored three points in the opening quarter but did not play after the first because of a sore right hip. He came in averaging a team-high 17.3 points per game. Harris is expected to undergo an MRI on Tuesday.

Warriors 128, Hawks 111

In Atlanta, Stephen Curry scored 30 points, Kevin Durant had 28 and Klay Thompson chipped in with 27 as Golden State cruised past the Hawks, snapping a six-game losing streak on the road.

With Curry scoring 18 points in the opening quarter, this one was never in doubt.

The Warriors raced to a 34-17 lead in the first 12 minutes — Curry outscored the Hawks by himself — and the defending NBA champions won for only the fourth time in 10 games.

John Collins led Atlanta with 24 points.

Clippers 129, Pelicans 126

In New Orleans, Tobias Harris made two clutch free throws with 4.7 seconds left to close out a 27-point performance, and Los Angeles held off the Pelicans.

Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points and Lou Williams topped off his 20-point night with a long, contested, off-balance jumper that gave the Clippers a 127-124 lead with 6.4 seconds remaining.

Julius Randle scored a career-high 37 points for New Orleans, which has dropped six of its last eight games.

Thunder 110, Pistons 83

In Detroit, Steven Adams scored 21 points, Russell Westbrook added 18 and Oklahoma City ended the Pistons’ five-game win streak.

Paul George added 17 points for the Thunder, who are 15-3 since losing their first four games.

Blake Griffin led Detroit with 20 points.

In Other Games

Timberwolves 103, Rockets 91

Cavaliers 99, Nets 97

Wizards 110, Knicks 107