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Nuggets win 111-108 to keep Clippers winless with James Harden

DENVER (AP) – Nikola Jokic had 32 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, and the Denver Nuggets beat Los Angeles 111-108 in an NBA In-Season Tournament game yesterday, keeping the Clippers winless since acquiring James Harden last month.

Jokic was perfect on 14 free throw attempts, including two with 13 seconds left that helped the Nuggets hold off the Clippers’ comeback try.

Los Angeles has lost five straight with Harden, who was acquired on October 30, and six in a row overall despite the 34-year-old guard’s best game with his new team since arriving from Philadelphia.

“I kept reiterating, I didn’t have a training camp or a preseason, so kind of learning on the fly,” Harden said. “Also getting myself into James Harden shape. Tonight was definitely another step in the right direction and just keep improving.”

Harden scored 21 points and Paul George tied a season high with 35 points as Los Angeles fell to 0-2 in West Group B play.

“I thought we played great. It’s tough, the adversity of playing against the extra three,” George said of the officiating. “I thought they were awful but, the defending champs, we’ve got to play better.

“So many times I got hit on layups, three-pointers. It was constant. Jump shots, getting hit, smacked on the forearm. It was a poor job.”

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr drives to the basket against Los Angeles Clippers guard James Harden. PHOTO: AP
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