Nuggets clinch playoff berth with win over Celtics

BOSTON (AP) — The Denver Nuggets are headed back to the postseason after a six-year drought.

Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 13 rebounds and the Nuggets rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Boston Celtics 114-105 on Monday night and clinched their first playoff berth since 2012-13.

Will Barton added 20 points for Denver, which has won four straight. The Nuggets (47-22) are tied with Golden State for the best record in the Western Conference.

The Nuggets won 46 games last season, but missed the playoffs after losing in overtime to Minnesota on the final day of the regular season.

“It’s a great feeling,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “Four years in the making. Two years in a row coming up just shy, one game short. Using that as a motivation for tonight’s moment.”

Smiles were everywhere in the Nuggets locker room afterward.

“Yesss sir!” Jamal Murray beamed. “We’re just going to take this. We’re going to take a moment to realise how far we’ve come.”