DENVER (AP) Nikola Jokic had his second triple-double in as many nights with 32 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 131-124 win over the short-handed Golden State Warriors on Monday night.
Jokic has recorded triple-doubles in 11 of his last 23 games, and leads the league with 18 this season. The reigning NBA MVP was coming off a 46-point, 12-rebound and 11-assist game in a 138-130 win over New Orleans on Sunday.
Monte Morris and Jeff Green added 18 points apiece for the Nuggets, who have won 11 of 13 and moved to 13 games over .500 for the first time this season.
The Warriors were playing with a depleted lineup after coach Steve Kerr announced Saturday that Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins would miss the game to rest. Andre Iguodala and Gary Payton Jr. also were unavailable due to injuries.
Jordan Poole scored 32 points and Moses Moody 30 for the Warriors, who lost their fifth in a row and seventh in eight games. Golden State fell to 0-3 against the Nuggets this season.
Monday’s game was a makeup of a Dec. 30 game postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak that left the Nuggets without eight healthy players, the league mandated minimum to take the floor. But that resulted in the Warriors, who have another game in Denver on Thursday night, having to play at altitude twice in four days. Golden State has a Tuesday night game against the Los Angeles Clippers in San Francisco.
”It puts us in a way tougher spot than them,” Kerr said prior to the game. ”We had to fly here again. They didn’t have to make an extra trip. They’ve got to play a back-to-back, I know. This was just another in many, many games rescheduled around the league that are inconvenient for everybody, but necessary to keep the league going, so you just do what you have to do.”
The Nuggets also are enduring a scheduling crunch, playing four games in five days and facing the Warriors both times in the second game of back-to-back this week.
”Every coach has to do what is best for their team,” Nuggets coach Michaell Malone said, adding that he expects to see the Warriors full complement of players…