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Jokic shines, Nuggets cruise to 127-109 victory over Wizards

Nikola Jokic reached 10,001 career NBA points — all with Denver — and added eight assists while falling two shy of his 19th triple-double the season.

WASHINGTON — Nikola Jokic had 29 points and 13 rebounds in an efficient 26-minute performance to help the Denver Nuggets cruise to a 127-109 victory over the struggling Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

Jokic reached 10,001 career NBA points — all with Denver — and added eight assists while falling two shy of his 19th triple-double the season.

The four-time All-Star shot 10 of 14 from the floor, hitting both 3-pointers and all seven foul shots he attempted as the Nuggets improved to 2-0 on their three-game East Coast trip.

Bones Hyland added 17 points for a Denver team battling to seal one of six automatic Western Conference playoff spots.

The sixth-place Nuggets began the night 1 1/2 games ahead of seventh-place Minnesota and 1 1/2 behind Dallas. Both played later Wednesday.

Deni Avdija scored 19 points for Washington, which has lost five straight and continues to lose ground on the Eastern Conference play-in places.

Kristaps Porzingis added 16 points and Corey Kispert had 15 for the 11th-place Wizards.

Washington shot only 21.7% from 3-point range (5 of 23) on a night very little was in doubt other than the possibility of a Jokic triple-double.

Denver led 34-28 after the first quarter, 73-52 at halftime and 104-81 after three. Jokic came out late in the third and did not re-enter.

Credit: AP
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, center, fights for a rebound against Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija, left, and Wizards forward Rui Hachimura, of Japan, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Washington. The Nuggets defeated the Wizards 127-109. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Set a new franchise record with their seventh consecutive road victory. ... Coach Michael Malone confirmed reports that G Jamal Murray (Left ACL) has begun practicing with G-League Grand Rapids, but said his return to play is not imminent. Murray suffered the injury last April. ... Denver made its first 17 free throws before DeMarcus cousins missed the first of a pair, and finished 20 of 21 from the line.

Wizards: Allowed 120 or more points for the fourth consecutive game and 14th time this season ... Are on their longest slide since losing six straight from Jan. 19 to Feb. 1.

NO COMPARISON

Asked before the game if Washington's Porzingis shared traits with Denver's Jokic, the NBA's second-leading rebounder and fifth-leading assist man, Malone was skeptical.

“Other than being big and foreign, I think that’s where the similarities stop,” Malone said.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: At Cleveland on Friday night.

Wizards: At New York on Friday night.

>>Video above: As injuries mount for Nuggets, Monte Morris taking on more prominent scoring role

RELATED: No Bones about it: Denver's Hyland, Jokic beat Embiid, 76ers

RELATED: COVID restrictions removed at Ball Arena, Paramount Theatre

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