By Associated Press
DENVER (AP) — Will Barton scored a career-high 35 points, Nikola Jokic recorded his fifth triple-double of the season and the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 129-114 on Thursday night to win their fourth straight.
Jokic finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists to help lead Denver to a win in a matchup of short-handed teams.
The Clippers played without Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, who were left back in Los Angeles for the one-game trip. Denver forwards Wilson Chandler (right groin) and Danilo Gallinari (left knee bone bruise) also sat, but Kenneth Faried returned after missing nine games with lower back spasms. Faried had 12 points in 18 minutes.
Chris Paul had 18 points and 14 assists, J.J. Redick scored a team-high 22 points and Austin Rivers had 17 for the Clippers, who have lost three straight.
The Nuggets led by as many as 15 in the first half and 13 at the break, but the Clippers quickly cut it to six in the third quarter.
Barton, who scored 13 points in the second quarter, ended the third with nine points in the final 56 seconds to give Denver a 103-80 lead heading into the fourth.
The lead grew to as much as 25 and the Clippers never threatened. Barton’s seventh 3-pointer, which tied a career high, capped a 20-point half for the guard.