NBA: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets have easy time with Knicks

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Dec 05 2021 09:02 AM

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) looks to post up against New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) in the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Wendell Cruz, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) looks to post up against New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) in the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Wendell Cruz, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Nikola Jokic had 32 points and 11 rebounds, Zeke Nnaji had a career-high 21 points, and the visiting Denver Nuggets beat the New York Knicks 113-99 on Saturday.

Will Barton scored 13 points and Jeff Green had 11 for Denver, which has won four straight at New York.

Julius Randle had 24 points for the Knicks, while Evan Fournier had 15, RJ Barrett scored 13 and Derrick Rose added 11. New York has lost three consecutive games and four of its last five.

The Nuggets were without Bones Hyland and Austin Rivers for the second straight game after the duo was placed in health and safety protocols. Denver was already thin in the backcourt with P.J. Dozier tearing his ACL last week so Davon Reed was signed off the practice squad.

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Reed scored nine points in 24 minutes of his Nuggets debut.

New York trailed 60-49 at halftime but scored the first four points of the second half to get within seven, before Denver went back ahead by 66-55 on a Barton 3-pointer. Two free throws by Barrett and a 3-pointer from Alec Burks got New York within 69-63 but then the Nuggets dominated the rest of the third quarter.

Jokic scored 12 points, Green had two baskets and Reed hit his second 3-pointer of the day during a 23-3 run for Denver that made it 92-66 with 1:30 left in the period.

Any hopes of a New York comeback were ended early in the fourth quarter. Denver's Facundo Campazzo hit a pair of 3-pointers, Reed hit one as well and JaMychal Green scored five straight to give Denver a 106-76 lead with 8:40 to play.

New York went on a 17-6 run to cut the lead to 20 with 3:48 left before Denver closed it out.

The Nuggets led the by two early but pulled away behind Nnaji off the bench. He hit two 3-pointers late in the first quarter to put the Denver ahead 28-20. He scored 10 points in the second quarter, and his 3-pointer midway through the period gave the Nuggets a 44-28 lead.