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Jokic stars anew as Nuggets rip Spurs

MANILA, Philippines – Nikola Jokic exploded for 42 points as he led the Denver Nuggets over the San Antonio Spurs, 110-105, Wednesday (Manila time).

Jokic had an all-around game, finishing with 42 points, 16 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and an assist. 

The defending champions thwarted a near-quadruple double by rising big man Victor Wembanyama, who had 23 points, 15 rebounds, nine blocks, eight assists and a steal for the Spurs. 

After the Nuggets took an 11-ppoint lead, 99-88, with 8:18 remaining thanks to a floater by Reggie Jackson, the Spurs unleashed a 12-0 blitz to grab the lead, 100-99, with 4:06 left.

The two teams then traded baskets through the final minute, with Wembanyama converting on a layup to tie the game up at 105. 

After Wembanyama blocked a Jackson floater on the other end, he had the chance to take the lead anew for the Spurs, but missed it. 

Michael Porter Jr. made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to give the Nuggets a 108-105 lead. 

The French teenager had the chance to tie the game, but he missed a 3-pointer. 

Jokic iced the game with a pair of free throws with eight seconds to go, sealing the Nuggets’ win. 

Aaron Gordon backstopped Jokic with 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Porter had 15 markers, 16 boards and three dimes. 

Malaki Branham led San Antonio in scoring with 24 points. 

Despite the stat sheet-stuffing game by Wembanyama, he had a horrendous outing from the field, making just nine of his 29 field goal attempts. 

Denver rose to 53-23 in the season, good for solo first in the Western Conference, while San Antonio slipped to 18-58.