DENVER (AP) – Nikola Jokic had his second triple-double in as many nights with 32 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 131-124 win over the short-handed Golden State Warriors on Monday night.
Jokic has recorded triple-doubles in 11 of his last 23 games, and leads the league with 18 this season. The reigning NBA MVP was coming off a 46-point, 12-rebound and 11-assist game in a 138-130 win over New Orleans on Sunday.
Monte Morris and Jeff Green added 18 points apiece for the Nuggets, who have won 11 of 13 and moved to 13 games over .500 for the first time this season.
“We did a good job today in sharing the ball and finishing, scoring-wise,“ Jokic said. “We ran very well in transition. It’s always nice to have 30-plus assists (as a team).“ The Warriors were playing with a depleted lineup after coach Steve Kerr announced on Saturday that Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins would miss the game to rest. Andre Iguodala and Gary Payton Jr were also unavailable due to injuries.
Jordan Poole scored 32 points and Moses Moody 30 for the Warriors, who lost their fifth in a row and seventh in eight games. Golden State fell to 0-3 against the Nuggets this season.
The Nuggets also are enduring a scheduling crunch, playing four games in five days and facing the Warriors both times in the second game of back-to-back this week.
“Every coach has to do what is best for their team,“ Nuggets coach Michaell Malone said, adding that he expects to see the Warriors full complement of players when they make the return trip to Denver. Down 71-69 at halftime, the Warriors moved in front 83-77 on a three-pointer by Poole. But the Nuggets outscored Golden State 27-18 over a nine-and-a-half minute stretch to take a 104-101 lead into the fourth quarter.
A three-pointer by Poole pulled the Warriors to 117-114 with 4:57 remaining, but Austin Rivers had a jumper and a breakaway dunk sandwiched around Kevon Looney’s dunk for five-point Denver advantage with 2:29 remaining.
Jokic converted a three-point play, hit a floater in the lane and made another free throw to help the Nuggets hang on for the win. “Really good experience for our young guys, to be thrust into a position where they had to take on different roles, different responsibilities, competed and had a chance,“ Kerr said.
“That’s all you could ask, give ourselves a chance in the last few minutes, we just couldn’t close.“