DENVER — Nikola Jokic, inching closer to tying Wilt Chamberlain on the career triple-doubles list, joined the Hall of Famer as the only player with multiple 25-point triple-doubles on 80% shooting in NBA history on Sunday.
Jokic had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists while shooting 12-of-15 from the field in a 124-104 win over the Brooklyn Nets. He has an NBA-best 14 triple-doubles this season and 71 for his career, just seven away from tying Chamberlain for sixth all-time.
The reigning MVP scored 23 points in the second and third quarters when Denver went from trailing by seven to leading by 21. The Nuggets as a team held Brooklyn to 29 points in the second half to end a three-game skid.
“We rebounded better in the second half, we made them take tough shots. The defense was much, much better,” said Jokic, who held Brooklyn to 1-10 shooting when he contested a shot.
Jokic logged his triple-double in 29:49 minutes; it’s the eighth time he’s had a 25-point triple-double in less than 30 minutes. Only Giannis Antetokounmpo (2x), Luka Doncic, Joel Embiid, LeBron James and Domantas Sabonis has accomplished that feat at least once.
Will Barton had 21 points and Aaron Gordon had 17 points and nine rebounds in his return from a two-game absence for Denver.
Nets guard James Harden missed his second straight game with left hamstring tightness.
Kyrie Irving finished with 27 points and 11 assists and Cam Thomas had 20 for Brooklyn. The losing streak is the longest since the Nets lost seven in a row from Dec. 26, 2019, to Jan. 7, 2020. They finished 0-5 on the trip.
Denver led 76-75 at halftime and outscored the Nets 31-16 in the third quarter to take a 107-91 lead. Jokic came out late in the third sitting on nine assists and looked like he would finish an assist shy of another triple-double until Brooklyn cut the deficit to 109-99.
Jokic checked back in and fed Barton for a layup for his 10th assist.
The Nuggets stayed a game ahead of Minnesota to remain in the sixth position in the Western Conference with 10 days left before the All-Star break.
“This is a challenging time for every team, every coach, and every player,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “We have five games until the all-star break. We’re tired of each other. I see this team more than I see my wife and kids.”
The Associated Press and ESPN’s Stats & Information contributed to this story.
Source: ESPN NBA