Jokic’s 2nd straight triple-double leads Nuggets past Bucks

Jokic finished with 13 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his fourth career triple-double. All of them have come in his last 13 games.

Center Nikola Jokić at the Denver Nuggets press day, Sept. 26, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Center Nikola Jokić at the Denver Nuggets press day, Sept. 26, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) pepsi center; nuggets; basketball; sports; kevinjbeaty; denver; colorado; denverite;
Center Nikola Jokić at the Denver Nuggets press day, Sept. 26, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

By Dave Boehler, Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Nikola Jokic had his second triple-double in two nights to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 110-98 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

Jokic finished with 13 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his fourth career triple-double. All of them have come in his last 13 games.

Danilo Gallinari scored 22 points for Denver, which built a 31-point lead despite playing without point guard Jameer Nelson (illness) for the first time this season.

The Nuggets, coming off a victory Tuesday at Chicago, have won back-to-back road games for the first time this season. They have also won consecutive games for the first time since taking three straight Jan. 24-28.

Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton finished with a season-high 21 points to go with five rebounds and five assists. The Bucks also got 15 points and nine rebounds from Giannis Antetokounmpo, but failed in their attempt to win back-to-back home games for the first time since Jan. 2.

Once Denver’s 31-point cushion was significantly trimmed, the Nuggets could no longer rest their starters.

After Matthew Dellavedova’s basket cut Denver’s lead to 90-77 with 8:41 left, Gallinari and Jokic walked to the scorer’s table. And after Greg Monroe’s offensive rebound and layup got Milwaukee to 94-82 with 6:57 remaining, Wilson Chandler and rookie Jamal Murray, starting in place of Nelson, got up off the bench.

That was as close as the Bucks got, but their rally did give Jokic a chance to get another triple-double. He needed three more points when he re-entered the game and surpassed it on his jumper with 4:22 left. Jokic totaled 19 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists against the Bulls.

Denver led 84-53 after Murray stole the ball from Middleton, which led to a layup by Gary Harris with 3:50 left in the third. The Bucks scored 13 of the final 15 points in the quarter, however.