Nikola Jokic had 20 points, 13 rebound and 10 assists for his eighth triple-double of the season and the Denver Nuggets beat the undermanned New Orleans Pelicans 105-99 on Wednesday night.
Malik Beasley scored 22 points, and Monte Morris added 20 to help the Northwest Division-leading Nuggets win their fourth straight.
Kenrich Williams hit five of nine 3-point shots and scored a career-high 21 for the scrappy Pelicans. For the second night in a row, they played without four usual starters and a top reserve. Their only available starter, Jrue Holiday, had 22 points, including a step-back, straight-on 3 that cut Denver’s lead to 100-99 with 1:32 left.
But Jokic responded with consecutive powerful driving reverse layups while guarded by Jahlil Okafor to make it 104-99 with 42.4 seconds left, and the Pelicans never recovered.
at Celtics 126, Hornets 94: Jaylen Brown had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Jayson Tatum scored 20 points and the Boston Celtics rolled over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night despite Kyrie Irving’s absence.
Terry Rozier had 17 points and tied a career high with 10 assists in place of Irving, the star guard who missed his second straight game with a left hip strain.
Marcus Morris scored 15 points, Al Horford had 14 and Gordon Hayward 12 to help Celtics win for the seventh time in eight games. Kemba Walker had 21 points for Charlotte.
Mavericks 114, at Knicks 90: Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 14 points in what might have been his final appearance at Madison Square Garden, Luka Doncic warmed up after an airball on his first shot in the arena to score 16 points, and Dallas routed New York.
Dennis Smith Jr. had his second career triple-double with 13 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds, and Harrison Barnes led the Mavericks with 19 points. Kevin Knox scored 17 points for the Knicks.
Bulls 105, at Heat 89: Bobby Portis scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half, Wayne Selden added 20 and Chicago ran away in the second half to beat Miami.
The Bulls, who finished January with a 2-13 record — the franchise’s second-worst mark ever in that month. Tyler Johnson scored 15 points for Miami.
at Wizards 107, Pacers 89: Bradley Beal scored 25 points, Jeff Green added 23 to lead another productive night from Washington’s bench, and the Wizards beat the reeling Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.
Green had 16 points in the first half to help spell Beal, who came in second in the NBA in minutes at 37.2 per game, and the Wizards’ reserves scored 58 points. Washington’s second unit also led a fourth-quarter rally that just fell short against Cleveland a night earlier.
Chasson Randle matched his career high with 13 points for Washington.
at Timberwolves 99, Grizzlies 97, OT: Karl-Anthony Towns scored all 16 of his points after halftime, including a buzzer-beating desperation shot in overtime to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Memphis led twice during overtime, but Towns helped Minnesota closed it out. On the final possession, Andrew Wiggins ran the clock down to six seconds before shooting a pull-up 3. The rebound fell to the right side, where Towns grabbed it, dribbled once and floated up a shot as he faded toward the corner. The ball went in, and Towns tossed up his hands before getting mobbed by teammates.
Towns dealt with foul trouble through the first three quarters but was in the right position for Minnesota to win it’s fourth in a row. He added 10 rebounds in just 27 minutes.
at Kings 135, Hawks 113: Harry Giles came off the bench and scored 12 of his season-high 20 points in the third quarter, Marvin Bagley III added 17 points and 12 rebounds, and the Sacramento Kings romped past the Atlanta Hawks behind their two prized rookies Wednesday night.
Bogdan Bogdanovic had 16 points and seven assists for the Kings, who pulled away in the third thanks to Giles. Buddy Hield scored 18 and Nemanja Bjelica added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Trae Young had 23 points with eight assists for Atlanta, which has lost four of six.
at Trail Blazers 132, Jazz 105: Damian Lillard had 36 points and 11 assists to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
Lillard’s backcourt mate CJ McCollum was excellent as well, scoring 30 points in the win.
Donovan Mitchell had 22 points to lead Utah.