Jokic's triple-double leads Nuggets over Spurs, 117-109
San Antonio Spurs center Joffrey Lauvergne, left, drives against Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic on the way to to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
By Michael Kelly, Associated Press
DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 23 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, Will Barton scored 20 points and the Denver Nuggets beat the struggling San Antonio Spurs 117-109 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time).
Jokic notched his fourth triple-double of the season to lead the Nuggets to their fifth win in six games. Denver outscored the Spurs 30-19 in the fourth quarter to rally from seven down late in the third.
Joffrey Lauvergne scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Tony Parker had 17 points for San Antonio. The Spurs have lost 5-of-6 heading into their All-Star break.
San Antonio was again without two of its top players in Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge. Leonard has missed all but nine games and Aldridge sat for the second straight night to rest his sore right knee.
Lauvergne stepped up in Aldridge's absence and surpassed his previous high of 22 points for the Nuggets nearly two years ago. His 11 rebounds were a season-high.
Lauvergne's layup early in the fourth gave the Spurs a 100-99 lead but Denver closed out on an 18-9 run. Gary Harris had 10 of his 15 points in the last 7:28 and Jokic got his 10th assist on Wilson Chandler's driving layup with 3:19 left that gave Denver a 114-103 lead.
Jamal Murray scored 17 points after missing Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) practice and Tuesday's morning shootaround (early Wednesday, PHL time) with chest discomfort. He was a game-time decision but played 38 minutes.
Spurs: University of Colorado coach Tad Boyle was on hand to see his former player, Derrick White, now with San Antonio. White had two points in two minutes. ... Aldridge will participate in All-Star weekend despite sitting out Monday and Tuesday (Tuesday and Wednesday, PHL time). ... The Spurs' bench outscored the starters 66-43.
Nuggets: Chandler had 17 points and eight rebounds. ... G Devin Harris made his home debut. Harris was acquired from Dallas in a three-team trade last Thursday (last Friday, PHL time) and played in Saturday's (Sunday, PHL time) win at Phoenix. ... F Mason Plumlee (right calf strain) missed his seventh straight game but is expected back after the All-Star break
Spurs: At the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 23 (Feb. 24, PHL time).
Nuggets: At the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time).