Denver’s Nikola Jokic posted his seventh triple-double of the season in his return from a one-game suspension and the host Nuggets beat the Philadelphia 76ers 126-110 on Saturday night.
Jokic finished with 32 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists.
The 76ers gave leading scorer Joel Embiid the night off, robbing fans of a Jokic-Embiid showdown but allowing their star to get a six-day midseason break before their next game Tuesday night against the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Jokic, the Nuggets’ leader in points, rebounds and assists, missed Denver’s 132-95 rout of the Phoenix Suns on Friday night when he was handed a one-game suspension for leaving the bench during an altercation in Utah earlier in the week.
Denver coach Michael Malone said he didn’t think Jokic would be any more fired up than usual.
“I don’t think he’s going to use it as any added motivation,” Malone said. “I think he’ll come back and look to help his team win another game at home against a quality team from the Eastern Conference.”
Jokic did just that, scoring 17 first-quarter points on his way to a 20-point, 12-rebound first-half as the Nuggets.
Through three quarters, Jokic had 28 points, 17 boards and nine assists, and he got the triple-double shortly after re-entering the game midway through the fourth quarterwith a half-court pass to Malik Beasley.
JJ Redick scored 22 points for Philadelphia.
Trail Blazers 120, Hawks 111: CJ McCollum had 28 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double and Seth Curry added 22 points for host Portland. Trae Young had 30 points and eight assists to lead Atlanta.. Blazers sixth man Evan Turner left the game after the second quarter because of a sore left Achilles.
Grizzlies 105, Pacers 103: Mike Conley had 22 points and 11 assists, Jaren Jackson Jr. added 20 and host Memphis beat Indiana to end an eight-game losing streak. Marc Gasol added 18 points for the Grizzlies, who had lost 14 of 15 games. Justin Holiday finished with 16 points and Bruno Caboclo, playing his second game on a 10-day contract, added 11 points. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 points to lead the Pacers.
Spurs 126, Pelicans 114: LaMarcus Aldridge, playing with a sore left wrist, finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds as visiting San Antonio beat New Orleans. Rudy Gay had 22 points, including 11 in the third quarter, and 11 rebounds to help the Spurs snap a two-game skid.
Briefly: Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who has been playing with a torn ligament in his right thumb, on Monday will undergo surgery and is expected to be out at least three weeks, ESPN reported. Dinwiddie is averaging a career-best 17.2 points per game this season. … Lakers forward LeBron James, sidelined since suffering a strained groin on Christmas, took part in full-contact defensive drills in practice, but won’t be activated for Sunday’s game against the Suns.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Nikola-Jokic-has-triple-double-in-win-over-76ers-13564909.php.