Nuggets Pelicans Basketball

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic reacts to a foul called in the second quarter of Denver’s 116-105 win over the Pelicans on Friday in New Orleans. Derick Hingle/Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Nikola Jokic scored 22 of his 29 points in the second half to go with 13 rebounds and 10 assists and the Denver Nuggets held off the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans 116-105 on Friday night.

Jokic had just seven points during a closely contested first half, after which the Nuggets led 50-48. The reigning NBA MVP proceeded to score 16 points in the first 11 minutes of the second half, hitting three of the four 3-point shots in that stretch.

Denver led took an 86-78 lead into the fourth quarter and never relinquished it, going by as many as 16 when Bryn Forbes, who had 14 points, hit a 3 to make it 103-87 halfway through the period.

Aaron Gordon scored 20 points for the Nuggets. They won their fourth straight and fifth in six games.

Austin Rivers, picked 10th overall by New Orleans in the 2012 draft, added 12 points for Denver.

HORNES 117, LAKERS 114: Miles Bridges had 26 points, Ish Smith provided a huge boost off the bench with 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting and Charlotte held off short-handed Los Angeles in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Russell Westbrook scored 35 points for the Lakers, but missed a potential winning 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left.

LeBron James missed his second straight game because of left knee soreness, and Anthony Davis did not play due to right wrist soreness. Lakers Coach Frank Vogel said he held out his star center as a precautionary measure after Davis scored 31 points in a loss at Philadelphia on Thursday night.

LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier each had 20 points for the Hornets. Carmelo Anthony added 19 points for the Lakers, and rookie Austin Reaves had 16.

TRAIL BLAZERS 125, ROCKETS 110: Anfernee Simons scored 27 points, CJ McCollum had 26 and the Portland Trail Blazers handed Houston its franchise-record 10th straight home loss.

Jusuf Nurkic had 25 points and 13 rebounds for Portland, which had dropped two in a row. Norman Powell finished with 16 points.

It was Houston’s third straight loss overall. According to STATS, the Rockets became the first team in NBA history to drop 10 straight home games by nine or more points.


Houston trailed by 12 midway through the fourth before consecutive 3s from Christian Wood and Jalen Green cut the lead to 108-102.

HEAT 121, CLIPPERS 114: MIAMI (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 26 points and Miami withstood another furious comeback from visiting Los Angeles.

Bam Adebayo had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat, who have won 10 of 12. Gabe Vincent finished with 23 points.

The Eastern Conference-leading Heat snapped a six-game losing streak against the Clippers. Miami’s last win over Los Angeles was on Dec. 8, 2018.

Down 23 late in the third period, the Clippers closed to 117-113 on Amir Coffey’s layup with 33 seconds remaining. Butler hit four foul shots on Miami’s final two possessions to secure the win. He converted all 14 of his free-throw attempts.

For Los Angeles, the late rally followed the team’s historic 35-point comeback in its 116-115 win over Washington on Tuesday.


PACERS 113, THUNDER 110: Domantas Sabonis had 24 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assist and Indiana won in overtime in Oklahoma City.

Sabonis had his fifth triple-double of the season and 18th overall.

Justin Holiday added 22 points to help the Pacers snap a three-game losing streak. Indiana had just given up 158 points in a loss to Charlotte in its previous game, a franchise record for points allowed and the most any team has given up this season.

Lu Dort scored 27 points, and Josh Giddey added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City’s leading scorer this season, sprained his right ankle early in the third quarter and did not return.

The Thunder led 54-51 at halftime behind 11 points from Dort and 10 from Darius Bazley.

GRIZZLIES 119, JAZZ 109: Ja Morant had 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as host Memphis pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Utah.


It was the fourth career triple-double for Morant, Memphis’ third-year point guard who was named an All-Star starter on Thursday.

Brandon Clarke added 22 points for Memphis, while Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 18 points and matched his season high with six blocks. Desmond Bane added 17 for the Grizzlies.

Danuel House Jr. led the short-handed Jazz with 21 points, while Mike Conley finished with 15 points and six assists. Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson had 13 points each for Utah, which lost its fourth straight and 10th of 12.

The Grizzlies maintained their hold on third place in the Western Conference, moving 3 1/2 games in front of the fourth-place Jazz.

MAGIC 119, PISTONS 103: Franz Wagner scored 24 points and outplayed fellow rookie Cade Cunningham, Terrence Ross added 21 points and Orlando beat visiting Detroit in a matchup of the NBA’s worst teams on Friday night.

Wagner, second only to Cunningham in scoring among rookies, made 7 of 12 shots and hit all eight of his free throws. Mo Bamba had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Chuma Okeke added 17 points and three 3-pointers.


Orlando won at home for the second time in three games and the fourth time this season. The Magic had lost to the Pistons twice in Detroit and improved to 10-40, two games behind the Pistons in the standings. Only three of Orlando’s wins have been by double digits.

Cunningham, the top overall draft pick, missed his first 11 shots and finished with eight points on 3-of-17 shooting. Cunningham was coming off a career-best 34-point effort in Tuesday’s loss to Denver, but he struggled from the start with Orlando rookie Jalen Suggs guarding him. Cunningham has made just 7 of 39 shots in three games against the Magic, missing all 15 of his 3-point attempts.

Trey Lyles scored 18 points and Saddiq Bey added 17 for Detroit, which has lost four straight. The Pistons dropped to 4-22 on the road.

SPURS 131, BULLS 122: Dejounte Murray had 29 points and 12 assists and the Spurs beat Chicago in DeMar DeRozan’s return to San Antonio.

DeRozan, who spent the previous three seasons with the Spurs, scored 32 points in his first game in San Antonio for the Bulls. Zach LaVine added 30 points and Nikola Vucevic had 18.

Keldon Johnson added 23 points for San Antonio, which snapped a three-game home losing streak. Jakob Poeltl added 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Murray had nine rebounds.


DeRozan was showered with appreciation by the fans as well as his former teammates and coaches. His only 3-pointer pared San Antonio’s lead to 124-120, but Chicago committed a turnover on its next possession to help the Spurs stay in front.


MAGIC: Guard Cole Anthony has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for directing profane and derogatory remarks toward a game official.

The incident occurred at the conclusion of Orlando’s 111-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night at Amway Center.

The Magic (9-40) have endured a frustrating season, and own the NBA’s worst record.

Orlando hosts the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.


WARRIORS: Draymond Green is going into TV.

The Golden State Warriors star has received an exclusive multiyear agreement to join Turner Sports as an active player, set to make appearances with the network’s Inside the NBA program among other content opportunities with Turner Sports and Bleacher Report.

That means Green will sit alongside the studio team of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith as an analyst when his schedule permits, while also working remotely to contribute to various other programs and special projects throughout the season.

“I’ve had an amazing experience working with Turner Sports in recent years and I’m a big believer in the way they entertain and genuinely connect with fans on all levels,” said Green, currently sidelined by an injury. “Today’s announcement helps to formalize our relationship and I couldn’t be prouder to officially be a part of the TNT family.”

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