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Nuggets beat Bulls 114-106

CHICAGO (AP) – Nikola Jokic was ejected in the second quarter. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was held out in the second half after a collision with Nikola Vucevic. Jamal Murray didn’t play at all.

The rest of the Denver Nuggets picked up the slack.

Reggie Jackson scored 25 points and short-handed Denver held off the Chicago Bulls for a 114-106 victory on Tuesday night.

“We have an expectation to win the game no matter who is playing,” coach Michael Malone said.

Michael Porter Jr had 17 points and Aaron Gordon finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists, helping Denver to a gritty second straight win after a 129-122 victory at Atlanta on Monday night. Julian Strawther added 16 points.

Jackson made five three-pointers as the reigning NBA champions went 14 for 30 from behind the arc. The Nuggets also beat the Bulls 123-101 in Denver on November 4.

“The defence was where it was supposed to be and the guys executed,” Jokic said. “We had a couple guys step up in a different position today. It’s a good win for us.”

Jokic was thrown out for the language he directed toward an official after he felt he was fouled when he missed a reverse layup with 1:12 left in the first half. The two-time NBA MVP said something in the direction of a referee as he made his way back down the court.

Jokic was promptly whistled for a technical and thrown out by official Mousa Dagher.

“I crossed the line, but sometimes that word doesn’t cross the line,” Jokic said.

Jokic declined to get into further details because he wanted to avoid a fine by the NBA. Mark Lindsay, the crew chief for the referee crew, also was vague when asked about the exchange.

“We don’t typically publicly get into exactly what a player said, but the language reached the standard for an ejection,” Lindsay told a pool reporter.

PHOTO: AP
PHOTO: AP

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