NBA: Streaking Nuggets follow Nikola Jokic’s lead

Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) battles for the ball against Nuggets forward Trey Lyles (7) on Dec. 3.
(Nathan Denette / Associated Press)

Nikola Jokic capped a triple-double with three free throws in the final seven seconds, Kyle Lowry missed a three-point shot at the buzzer and the Denver Nuggets survived the loss of leading scorer Gary Harris in a 106-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night at Toronto.

“To beat the No. 1 team in the East means a lot to us,” Jokic said.

Jokic made the score 104-103 with a free throw with seven seconds to play, then hit two more foul shots with 5.6 seconds remaining before Lowry bounced a 26-footer off the rim.

Jokic had 23 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets, who won their sixth in a row and ended the Raptors’ eight-game winning streak.


“He does everything,” Jamal Murray, who scored 21 points for the Nuggets, said of Jokic. “He passes, rebounds, handles the ball. There’s nothing he really can’t do, except jump.”

Kawhi Leonard scored 27 points for the Raptors.

Harris, who scored three points, did not play after the first quarter because of a sore right hip. The fifth-year pro, averaging 17.3 points a game, is expected to undergo an MRI test Tuesday.

Golden State 128, at Atlanta 111: Stephen Curry scored 30 points, Kevin Durant 28 and Klay Thompson 27 for the Warriors, who ended a six-game road losing streak by winning for only the fourth time in 10 games. Golden State raced to a 34-17 lead in the first 12 minutes as Curry outscored the Hawks by himself, pouring in 18 points.

Oklahoma City 110, at Detroit 83: Steven Adams scored 21 points and Russell Westbrook scored 18 for the Thunder, who are 15-3 since losing their first four games. Blake Griffin led the Pistons with 20 points.

at Minnesota 103, Houston 91: Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Timberwolves erase a 14-point halftime deficit. The Rockets, who got 29 points from James Harden, led by as many as 19 points in the first half before Minnesota stormed back to take the lead for good in the third quarter.

Cleveland 99, at Brooklyn 97: Newcomer Alec Burks threw down a two-handed dunk with 3.2 seconds remaining, helping the Cavaliers survive a fourth-quarter collapse and end a four-game losing streak after they blew a 91-80 lead.


Washington 110, at New York 107: Bradley Beal scored 27 points and John Wall had 18 points and 15 assists for the Wizards, who won on the road for only the third time.

Clippers 129, at New Orleans 126