DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 18 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his 21st career triple-double to help the Denver Nuggets extend their home winning streak to 11 by cruising past the Los Angeles Clippers 121-100 on Thursday night.
Jamal Murray scored 23 points and Mason Plumlee added a season-high 17 points to go with 12 rebounds for the Western Conference-leading Nuggets. They’re 17-3 at home.
Lou Williams led the Clippers with 19 points, and Danilo Gallinari chipped in 18 against his former team.
Jokic did a little bit of everything. The big man turned in the pass of the night when he threw a full-length strike over a defender to Murray for a dunk in the third quarter. Jokic later had a layup when he bounced the ball off the backboard to himself.
Jokic was coming off a game in Miami on Tuesday in which he had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
After the final buzzer, he signed a jersey for Broncos pass rusher Von Miller, who happened to be sitting courtside. Miller also gave Jokic a Broncos jersey.
Denver built the lead to 102-81 with 9:03 remaining on a jumper by Monte Morris. The Clippers made a little run, but Morris silenced it with a 3-pointer.
Gallinari received applause from the crowd when he was announced. He joined the Clippers last season after a bulk of his career in Denver. He was limited to 21 games with Los Angeles in 2017-18 due to injuries and didn’t suit up when the Clippers played in the Mile High City.
“I root for him. I root for guys that were here and helped me as a young head coach get this thing off and running,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “Gallo was nothing but great in the time I was able to coach him.”
Clippers: F Luc Mbah a Moute remains out with a sore left knee. ... G Patrick Beverley was ejected in the fourth quarter for arguing.
Nuggets: G Gary Harris missed his second straight game with tightness in his left hamstring. ... F Juancho Hernangomez has been dealing with an injury. Earlier this season, he dealt with an abdominal strain. “If it gets to a point we have to shut him down for a bit, we’ll do so,” Malone said.
Jokic, who’s from Serbia, currently sits in seventh place among Western Conference frontcourt players in the All-Star voting by fans. Dallas rookie and Slovenian native Luka Doncic is second, with fans counting for 50 percent of the vote to determine the starters.
“Obviously, a lot of fans in Slovenia are voting and not enough fans in Serbia are voting,” Malone cracked.
Clippers: Begin a four-game homestand Saturday against Detroit.
Nuggets: At Phoenix on Saturday before hosting Portland the following night.