Jokic stars as Nuggets top Suns in OT; Booker out again
DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had another monster triple-double, Aaron Gordon threw down a pivotal dunk that stood up after a review in overtime and the Denver Nuggets rallied for a 128-125 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.
Jokic had 41 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists for his 83rd career triple-double. The two-time reigning NBA MVP had a 40-point, 27-rebound, 10-assist outing a week ago.
Phoenix star Devin Booker lasted only 4:20 in his return from a groin injury, scoring two points after getting 58 against New Orleans in his previous start.
Jamal Murray tied it in regulation for Denver on a dunk with 10.7 seconds left. But it was Gordon’s OT dunk that propelled the Nuggets to the victory.
At first, he was called for an offensive foul, but a review determined that Landry Shamet — who matched his career high with 31 points for Phoenix — was moving, awarding Gordon the basket and a free throw.
Gordon finished with 28 points and Murray 26.
Phoenix had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds, only to throw away a pass.
Deandre Ayton added 22 points and 16 rebounds for Phoenix on a night the Suns lost Booker again to the groin injury that sidelined him the previous two games. Chris Paul had 17 points and 16 assists, but missed five free throws.
MAVERICKS 124, LAKERS 115
DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 32 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. had 16 of his 26 points in a huge third quarter for Dallas and the Mavericks beat Los Angeles.
Christian Wood added 30 points and tied a career high with seven assists as the Mavericks finished off a celebration of Dirk Nowitzki’s statue unveiling by winning just the second Christmas Day home game in franchise history.
Dallas took its first lead during a 51-point third quarter, the highest-scoring quarter on Christmas in NBA history and a league-best this season. Golden State and Orlando have each had a 50-point quarter.
LeBron James scored 38 points, one shy of his season high, and the Lakers led by 12 early in the third before the Mavericks took over.
Donci also had nine assists.
CELTICS 139, BUCKS 118
BOSTON (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 20 of his 41 points in the third quarter, and Jaylen Brown knocked down his shots — and knocked down Giannis Antetokounmpo — in the fourth quarter to help Boston beat Milwaukee in a matchup of the top two teams in the NBA.
Brown scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth, and Antetokounmpo lost his temper after a hard pick sent him to the floor and retaliated by shoving the Boston All-Star. Antetokounmpo, who fell hard on his hand Friday night but was cleared to start, was given a technical foul and went to the bench; the teams played the last 3:41 without further incident.
Antetokounmpo had 27 points and had nine rebounds for Milwaukee, and Jrue Holiday had 23 points.
76ERS 119, KNICKS 112
NEW YORK (AP) — Joel Embiid scored 35 points, James Harden had 29 points and 13 assists and Philadelphia blew by New York in the final quarter, extending its winning streak to eight games,
Georges Niang hit four 3-pointers in Philadelphia’s fourth-quarter surge and finished with 16 points. De’Anthony Melton added 15 as the 76ers got off to a good start on a four-game trip after sweeping a seven-game homestand.
The Sixers never led through three quarters, then outscored the Knicks 24-9 to open the fourth, turning a one-point deficit into a 116-102 lead.
Julius Randle scored 35 points for New York, and Jalen Brunson had 23 points and 11 assists. The Knicks have lost three straight following an eight-game winning streak.
WARRIORS 123, GRIZZLIES 109
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jordan Poole scored 32 points — highlighted by emphatic one-handed slam off a pass from Draymond Green in the third — to outduel Ja Morant before being ejected, and the Warriors beat Memphis in a rematch of the Western Conference semifinals won in five games by Golden State.
Morant scored 36 points while debuting his first Nike signature “Ja 1” shoe for the Grizzlies’ first Christmas Day game.
Klay Thompson had 24 points and nine rebounds for Golden State. The Warriors were without Stephen Curry for the fifth straight game because of a shoulder injury.
Facing a Grizzlies team that is healthy at last and using its regular lineup, tensions were high just like that playoff round seven months ago. Poole was tossed for the first time in his career with 9:20 left and Golden State had six technicals.
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