Nikola Jokic had 26 points, 18 rebounds and 15 assists for his NBA-leading 16th triple-double, while Jamal Murray poured in 32 points as the host Denver Nuggets beat the New Orleans Pelicans 122-113 on Tuesday night.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aaron Gordon scored 15 points apiece and Michael Porter Jr. added 13 for the Nuggets, who won for just the second time in five games.
CJ McCollum and Herbert Jones scored 21 each, Brandon Ingram finished with 16 points, Trey Murphy added 14, Larry Nance Jr. had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Jonas Valanciunas scored 10 for New Orleans, which has lost nine straight.
The Pelicans led by as much as 12 in the second quarter, but Denver rallied to close the gap. Caldwell-Pope, Murray and Porter hit 3-pointers and Jokic had a three-point play that cut the deficit to one before New Orleans ended the half up 60-57.
The Nuggets came out strong in the second half. Murray opened with a 3-pointer to tie it, Porter hit a pair of corner 3-pointers and Jokic fed Gordon for a dunk in an 11-2 run to give Denver the lead at 68-62 less than three minutes into the period.
The Nuggets stretched the advantage to 78-69 on Murray’s sixth 3-pointer of the game midway through the third quarter. The Pelicans cut it to five but Denver bounced back to take a 93-84 lead into the fourth.
New Orleans opened the final quarter with two straight turnovers that led to dunks for the Nuggets and a 97-84 lead. The Pelicans scored the next five points but Jeff Green’s three-point play gave Denver a 103-90 lead with 9:27 left.
Naji Marshall had a field goal and two free throws, and Nance’s steal and layup got New Orleans within seven and forced a Denver timeout with 8:20 left.
After a Murray miss, Ingram hit a 17-footer to make it 103-98. But Jokic scored the next five points for the Nuggets and then fed Gordon on an alley-oop to give Denver a 110-102 lead with 4:24 left.
It was a five-point lead when Jokic hit a short hook, Ingram split a pair of free throws and Murray drained another 3-pointer to make it 116-107 with 2:24 left, and Denver closed it out from there.