Nikola Jokic posted another triple-double in the Denver Nuggets' 116-111 triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
The Sixers were playing without superstar center Joel Embiid who sat out the game due to a sore right calf and thus missed a showdown of MVP candidates against Jokic.
Jokic finished with 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting on top of 17 rebounds, 12 assists and two blocks in 35 minutes. This was his 29th triple-double of the season.
The Nuggets improved to 51-24, 3.5 games ahead of Memphis for the top spot in the Western Conference.
Sans Embiid, who is the league's leading scorer, Philadelphia got 29 points from Tyrese Maxey and 16 points each from Tobias Harris and Paul Reed.
Also sitting out the game was James Harden, who has now missed four straight games over an Achilles issue.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Pelicans clobbered the Portland Trail Blazers, 124-90, on the road.
Brandon Ingram paced New Orleans with 29 points and six rebounds, while Jonas Valanciunas grabbed 21 rebounds to go with his 10 points.
The Blazers were playing without four key players including Damian Lillard.
New Orleans is now 38-37, a full game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder for eighth place in the West.
The Minnesota Timberwolves prevented the Sacramento Kings from claiming a playoff spot with a 119-115 triumph.
A crucial dunk by Jaden McDaniels gave the visiting Timberwolves a 114-104 lead with under four minutes left, and Minnesota made enough free throws down the stretch to fend off the Kings.
McDaniels led seven Timberwolves in double-digits with 20 points.
The Kings, seeking to end the longest active playoff drought in the NBA, were led by De'Aaron Fox's 29 points and six assists.
Sacramento is 45-30, for third in the West.
In Los Angeles, the Clippers leaned on a 24-point outing from Nicolas Batum to defeat the Chicago Bulls, 124-112.