DENVER (AP) — Jamal Murray got his first career triple-double and the Denver Nuggets extended their winning streak to nine games by routing the Indiana Pacers 134-111 on Friday night without Nikola Jokic.
The two-time reigning NBA MVP sat out due to hamstring tightness.
Murray finished with 17 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds to turn in his best Jokic imitation. Jokic, who leads the league in triple-doubles, was a late scratch. He had a courtside seat for the Jamal Murray Show and congratulated his point-guard teammate after the feat.
Aaron Gordon scored 28 points and Michael Porter Jr. added 19 as the Western Conference-leading Nuggets ran their home win streak to 16 games in a row. They haven’t lost at Ball Arena since Dec. 6 against Dallas.
Nuggets acting head coach David Adelman improved to 3-0. Michael Malone remains out after entering the league’s health and safety protocols. A stat line Malone will certainly appreciate — a season-high 38 assists.
Bennedict Mathurin had 19 points and Chris Duarte added 18 for the Pacers, who dropped their sixth straight game. Indiana went 8 of 32 from 3-point range.
It was a peach-themed night for the Nuggets, with Murray wearing peach-colored shoes and Jokic a peach suit as he watched from the bench. Denver had a back-to-back-to-back dunk sequence in the third quarter that drew thunderous applause from the crowd.
The Nuggets were jamming along all night with 16 dunks.
Pacers: Indiana has lost six in a row to Denver. … Indiana center Myles Turner had 15 points.
Nuggets: F Vlatko Cancar missed the game because of an illness not related to COVID-19. … F Jeff Green was back after sitting out 14 games with a broken hand. He finished with six points.
Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton participated in some shooting contests with his teammates Friday. Haliburton has missed the last five games (sprained knee/elbow).
“I don’t know exactly when he’ll play, but he’s doing well,” coach Rick Carlisle said.
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr favors a 72-game season, which would allow players to get more rest and limit star players sitting out.
Adelman seconded that opinion.
“I think for the betterment of the league, less games would be good,” he said.
Pacers: Finish a four-game trip Saturday at Phoenix.
Nuggets: Close out a five-game homestand Sunday against Oklahoma City.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports