NBA: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets knock off Pistons

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 26 2022 11:22 AM

Detroit Pistons guard Hamidou Diallo (6) shoots on Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the second half at Little Caesars Arena. Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Detroit Pistons guard Hamidou Diallo (6) shoots on Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the second half at Little Caesars Arena. Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Nikola Jokic accounted for 28 points, 21 rebounds and nine assists and the visiting Denver Nuggets defeated the Detroit Pistons for the second time in three nights, 110-105, on Tuesday.

Jeff Green had 20 points and Aaron Gordon contributed 16 points, five rebounds and five assists. Monte Morris added 12 points and Austin Rivers chipped in 10 as the Nuggets overcame 25 turnovers. Denver pulled out a 117-111 home victory over Detroit on Sunday.

Rookie Cade Cunningham carried the Pistons with a season-high 34 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and four blocks. Saddiq Bey had 21 points, Hamidou Diallo tossed in 14 and Frank Jackson added 11 for the Pistons.

The Nuggets led by as much as 12 in the first half and carried a 69-59 lead to the locker room. Denver could have scored even more if it hadn't made 12 turnovers.

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The Nuggets shot 20 free throws in the first half and made 17, while the Pistons went 8-for-10 from the line.

Jokic had 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists before the break. Gordon also reached double digits with 12 points as Denver shot 51.1 percent from the field.

Cunningham led Detroit with 15 points and five assists but also picked up his third foul in the final minute of the second quarter. Bey and Diallo, the team's starting forwards, combined for 23 points.

The Pistons called timeout after the Nuggets extended their lead to 14 in the first two minutes of the second half. Green's 3-pointer midway through the quarter made it 86-71.

Detroit then went on an 11-2 run, capped by a Cunningham 3-pointer. Denver nudged the lead to 12, 97-85, by the end of the quarter.

The Pistons scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to cut the Nuggets' lead in half. Cunningham drained a 3-pointer with 5:33 left to make it a three-point game.

Jokic answered with a 3-pointer. Cunningham's layup with 1:31 remaining pulled Detroit within four at 106-102. The Pistons then came up empty in their next three possessions, allowing the Nuggets to hang on.