Jokic nets 30, Nuggets top Pistons 119-100, end 4-game skid

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 20 points, Jamal Murray had 19 and Aaron Gordon 15 for the Western Conference-leading Nuggets.

The short-handed Pistons were competitive for three quarters, leading by as many as seven points in a game with 16 lead changes and 10 ties. The Nuggets pulled away easily in the fourth and led by double digits midway through the quarter.

Rodney McGruder scored 20 for the Pistons, who have lost 12 of 13 games and have the NBA's worst record. Detroit rookies Jalen Duren had 15 points and 13 assists, while Jaden Ivey added 14 points and six assists.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - MARCH 16: Jalen Duren #0 of the Detroit Pistons dunks in the second half against the Denver Nuggets at Little Caesars Arena on March 16, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. Denver won the game 119-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowle


Nuggets: Jokic was an assist away from a triple-double. The 7-foot center, who often plays like a point guard, has an league-high 27 triple-doubles to nearly triple the rest of the league leaders in the category. ... With the win, Denver is .500 on the road.

Pistons: The banged-up team was missing many injured players: Marvin Bagley III, Bojan Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, Hamidou Diallo and Isaiah Livers, along with Cade Cunningham, who had season-ending shin surgery.


Pistons coach Dwane Casey said Jokic reminds him of Hall of Famer Larry Bird.

"He doesn’t get in a hurry, and you can’t rush or speed him up," Casey said. "He gets to where he wants to go by taking his time, using his body, angles, pass fakes.

"He’s not the most athletic guy in the world, but he gets exactly where he wants to go when he wants to get there."

Jokic has a shot to be the first player since Bird to win three straight NBA MVP awards. The former Boston Celtics superstar pulled off the feat in the mid 1980s.


Nuggets: Stay on the road for third of five-game trip to face the New York Knicks on Saturday afternoon.

Pistons: Host Miami on Sunday night. ___