Sun, 03 Dec 2023

WASHINGTON, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Nikola Jokic inspired the Denver Nuggets to a 119-100 victory over the Detroit Pistons to end their four-game NBA losing streak, while the Indiana Pacers rallied past the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks 139-123 on Thursday.

Jokic, the two-time reigning MVP, finished 14 of 18 from the field to score 30 points along with 10 rebounds and nine assists.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 20 points, Jamal Murray had 19 and Aaron Gordon added 15 for the Western Conference-leading Nuggets.

The Pistons led by as many as seven points in a game with 16 lead changes and 10 ties, while the Nuggets pulled away in the fourth quarter and led by double digits midway through the quarter.

Rodney McGruder scored 20 for the Pistons, who have lost 13 of 14 games and have the NBA's worst record.

In the Pacers' win, Andrew Nembhard scored 24 points and Aaron Nesmith hit six 3-pointers and finished with 22 points.

The Bucks took a 40-30 lead after the first period, while missing five of their first six shots to open the second as Indiana closed within five points, helped by an 8-0 run that was capped off by back-to-back 3-pointers from former Milwaukee guard George Hill.

The Bucks managed to build a 64-55 lead into the break. Another 8-0 run, with back-to-back 3-pointers by Nesmith, pulled the Pacers within four points with 4:08 left in the third.

An 11-4 run to open the fourth gave the Pacers a 115-105 lead with 10:07 remaining, and they faced no real challenge from then on.

Also on Thursday, the Sacramento Kings improved to 42-27 and clinched their first winning season since 2005-06 by beating the Brooklyn Nets 101-96, the Toronto Raptors extended their home winning streak to six games with a 128-111 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Phoenix Suns edged the Orlando Magic 116-113.

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