Nikola Jokic and Denver Nuggets cool off NY Knicks

ALL-STAR Nikola Jokic helped the Denver Nuggets beat the New York Knicks (113-97) on Wednesday night. — DENVER NUGGETS FB PAGE

NIKOLA Jokic had 32 points and 12 rebounds, Austin Rivers tied his season high with 25 points against his former team, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the New York Knicks (113-97) on Wednesday night.

Michael Porter, Jr. scored 17 points and Facu Campazzo had 16 points, nine rebounds and, for the second straight game, added five steals for Denver (44-22). The Nuggets tied the Los Angeles Clippers for third in the Western Conference.

Immanuel Quickley scored 18 points and Julius Randle, Derrick Rose, RJ Barrett, and Reggie Bullock scored 14 each for New York. The Knicks lost for just the second time in 14 games.

Jokic outscored New York on his own in the first quarter (24-12) and his 10 free-throw attempts were six more than the Knicks’ total.

New York (37-29) was called for three fouls on Denver’s first possession and Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau drew a technical foul just 28 seconds into the game.

The ensuing free throw was the first point of the game and the Nuggets kept pouring it on. After Elfrid Payton’s 7-footer made it 3-2, Denver went on a 23-4 run. Jokic had 15 points in the surge, including two dunks.

Rose hit a corner three-pointer — just the second New York basket in more than six minutes — but Jokic had another dunk and hit two foul shots to end the period with the Nuggets ahead (34-12).

Denver went ahead by as many as 28 in the second quarter before the Knicks made a run. Quickley hit a 3-pointer and Randle scored six straight points to get New York within 56-37. Campazzo hit a pair of 3-pointers to get the lead to 64-43 at intermission.

The Nuggets got the lead back to 26 points in the third, but the Knicks scored 10 straight on hot shooting by Barrett. Denver responded to go ahead by 21 and took an 89-69 lead into the fourth.

Rivers scored six points early in the fourth quarter — including a free throw on the fourth technical call on New York — to go ahead 97-73 and the Nuggets were able to close it out. — Reuters

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