Kurt Helin

Denver Nuggets forward Nikola Jokic, right, of Serbia, slips past Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green to take a shot in the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 13, 201, in Denver. The Nuggets won 132-110. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Associated Press

Nuggets tie NBA mark with 24 3s in 132-110 win over Warriors

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DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic got his second career triple-double and the Denver Nuggets tied an NBA record with 24 3-pointers while shocking the Golden State Warriors 132-110 on Monday night.

The Nuggets tied the 3-point mark set by the Rockets in December against New Orleans. They missed two 3-pointers in the final minute, and Jamal Murray passed up an uncontested 3 to dribble out the clock. They finished 24 of 40 from beyond the arc.

The Warriors were just 8 of 32 from long range, including 1 of 11 by Stephen Curry.

Jokic set career highs in rebounds (21) and assists (12) to go with 17 points, and rookie Juancho Hernangomez scored a season-high 27 points, including six 3s. Will Barton added 24 points and Jameer Nelson had 23.

Seven Nuggets sank 3-pointers, but the dizzying array of long-range shots didn’t include any by Jokic.

Kevin Durant led Golden State with 25 points 48 hours after his emotional return to Oklahoma City.

The Warriors’ ninth loss of the season matched their total from last year when they set an NBA record by winning 73 games. This also marked their biggest loss since a 129-100 blowout at the hands of the Spurs in the season opener.

Golden State trailed 42-20 after one quarter and 79-54 at halftime after the Nuggets shot 16 of 23 from behind the arc.

Curry tried to keep up with Denver’s surprise sharpshooters but never found his shooting touch.

The Warriors trailed by as many as 28 and were down 107-85 after three quarters. At that point, the Nuggets were 21 of 32 from long range.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr sat Durant, Curry and Draymond Green in the fourth quarter, and the backups cut it to 109-100 before the Nuggets pulled away again, thanks to some more 3s.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Golden State hadn’t surrendered 79 points by halftime all season. … Golden State was without guards Klay Thompson (sore right heel) and Shaun Livingston, who headed home for the birth of his daughter. Also out were Zaza Pachulia (strained rotator cuff) and David West (left thumb).

Nuggets: The 79 points marked Denver’s biggest first-half output of the season. … Denver is banged up, too. Danilo Gallinari (strained groin), Kenneth Faried (ankle) and Darrell Arthur (knee) all sat out along with Emmanuel Mudiay (back) and Wilson Chandler (illness).

NEW GUY

The Nuggets sent bruiser Jusuf Nurkic to the Portland Trail Blazers, who are on the Nuggets’ heels for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, in exchange for versatile center Mason Plumlee, prompting coach Michael Malone to say, “We feel we have two of the better passing bigs in the NBA right now.”

Durant agreed with that sentiment.

“Those two are going to play well off each other,” Durant said. “Having two guys, as big fellas, that can do that, it takes the pressure off your wings, your point guards, allows them to play with their athleticism. … Adding another guy that can play definitely helps.”

 

Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Spurs top Pacers for NBA-record 20th straight winning season

San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard is chased by Indiana Pacers' Paul George during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Indianapolis. San Antonio defeated Indiana 110-106. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points and the San Antonio Spurs clinched their NBA-record 20th consecutive winning season with a 110-106 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 10 of his 19 points during the final 6 1/2 minutes as the Spurs improved to 42-13 in the season following Tim Duncan’s retirement. They have had a winning record every season since 1997-98, when Duncan was a rookie, and broke a tie with the Utah Jazz, who had 19 straight winning seasons from 1985-2004.

Paul George scored 27 points and Myles Turner had 22 for the Pacers, who have lost four straight – three on their home court.

George’s 3-pointer with 21 seconds left cut it to 107-104, but the Spurs closed it out at the free-throw line to bounce back from their loss in New York on Sunday.

Indiana took a 95-91 lead with 5:17 left. But the Pacers missed five free throws after that and turned the ball over with 29 seconds left in a four-point game.

San Antonio looked ready to pull away when it used an 11-0 run in the third-quarter to make it 81-72.

But the Pacers closed the quarter on a 7-2 flurry to get within 83-79 and opened the fourth on an 8-1 spurt to retake an 87-84 lead on back-to-back breakaway dunks from Monta Ellis. They just couldn’t hold it against the team with the NBA’s second-best record.

Leonard has scored 30 or more points in five straight games.

TIP-INS

Spurs: Leonard also extended his streak of double-digit scoring games to 84, the longest streak by a San Antonio player since Duncan’s 91-game streak ended in 2003. … Danny Green, Tony Parker and David Lee each scored 12 points and Dwayne Dedmon had six points and 12 rebounds. … San Antonio was 23 of 27 from the free-throw line. … Coach Gregg Popovich earned win No. 1,031, moving within 24 of Phil Jackson for sixth in league history.

Pacers: Jeff Teague had 15 points, Rodney Stuckey finished with 13 and Kevin Seraphin had 12 in his first start of the season. … Indiana has lost eight of its last nine home games against San Antonio. … Indiana was outscored 15-4 on second-chance points and 44-36 on points in the paint. … The Pacers were 21 of 30 on free throws. … Starting forward Thaddeus Young sat out again with a sprained left wrist. … C.J. Miles made one 3 to move within two of Mike Dunleavy (408) for No. 7 in the franchise’s NBA history.

 

John Wall put on passing show with 14 assists as Wizards rout Thunder

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Between the legs. Finding guys in transition. Driving and dishing in the half-court.

If there was a way for John Wall to rack up an assist against the Thunder Monday night, he did it. Combine that with some hot shooting from Washington (9-of-13 from three) and the Wizards cruised to a 120-98 win.

Wall looked every bit the All-Star in this one.

Suns’ Derrick Jones Jr. puts on All-Star Dunk Contest preview in warmups

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Derrick Jones Jr. has never dunked in an NBA game.

But the athleticism of the Suns’ wing got in invited into Friday night’s All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest, and in warmups Monday night Jones gave the people a little preview of what they may get to see on Saturday night.

Damn, this could be fun Saturday night.

The Magic’s Aaron Gordon comes in the man to beat, and Glenn Robinson III and DeAndre Jordan have thrown their hats in the ring as well.

Kevin Love has MRI on knee Sunday, Cavaliers decide to get second opinion

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) reacts after he was called for a foul during the overtime of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Cavaliers won 140-135 in overtime. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Associated Press
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This isn’t automatically bad news, but that was just a red flag that just went up.

Kevin Love tweaked his knee during the Cavaliers win over the Nuggets Saturday, and Sunday the team decided to get an MRI done. The results? We don’t know, the team isn’t talking about it, but they are getting a second opinion reports Tom Withers at the Associated Press.

Kevin Love’s left knee injury has the Cavaliers concerned about the All-Star forward, who will get a second opinion while his teammates are in Minnesota.

Love has been ruled out of Tuesday’s game against the Timberwolves, his former team, and there is a strong possibility he’ll miss more time. The Cavs host Indiana on Wednesday in their final game before the All-Star break…

The 28-year-old complained of soreness and had swelling following Saturday’s win over Denver. He underwent an MRI on Sunday, and while the Cavs have not disclosed results of the procedure, the fact that Love will visit another doctor suggests that something was detected.

Love is scheduled to play for the Eastern Conference in this weekend’s All-Star Game. That now could be in doubt.

Love has found a real comfort level playing next to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving this season, and he has averaged 20 points and 11.1 rebounds a game.