- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 16, 2022

WASHINGTONNikola Jokic had 29 points and 13 rebounds in an efficient 26-minute performance to help the Denver Nuggets cruise to a 127-109 victory over the struggling Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

Jokic reached 10,001 career NBA points - all with Denver - and added eight assists while falling two shy of his 19th triple-double the season.

The four-time All-Star shot 10 of 14 from the floor, hitting both 3-pointers and all seven foul shots he attempted as the Nuggets improved to 2-0 on their three-game East Coast trip.

Bones Hyland added 17 points for a Denver team battling to seal one of six automatic Western Conference playoff spots.

The sixth-place Nuggets began the night 1 1/2 games ahead of seventh-place Minnesota and 1 1/2 behind Dallas. Both played later Wednesday.

Deni Avdija scored 19 points for Washington, which has lost five straight and continues to lose ground on the Eastern Conference play-in places.

Kristaps Porzingis added 16 points and Corey Kispert had 15 for the 11th-place Wizards.

Washington shot only 21.7% from 3-point range (5 of 23) on a night very little was in doubt other than the possibility of a Jokic triple-double.

Denver led 34-28 after the first quarter, 73-52 at halftime and 104-81 after three. Jokic came out late in the third and did not re-enter.


Nuggets: Set a new franchise record with their seventh consecutive road victory. … Coach Michael Malone confirmed reports that G Jamal Murray (Left ACL) has begun practicing with G-League Grand Rapids, but said his return to play is not imminent. Murray suffered the injury last April. … Denver made its first 17 free throws before DeMarcus cousins missed the first of a pair, and finished 20 of 21 from the line.

Wizards: Allowed 120 or more points for the fourth consecutive game and 14th time this season … Are on their longest slide since losing six straight from Jan. 19 to Feb. 1.


Asked before the game if Washington‘s Porzingis shared traits with Denver‘s Jokic, the NBA‘s second-leading rebounder and fifth-leading assist man, Malone was skeptical.

“Other than being big and foreign, I think that’s where the similarities stop,” Malone said.


Nuggets: At Cleveland on Friday night.

Wizards: At New York on Friday night.

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