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Nuggets hold off Warriors in battle of undermanned teams

DENVER, November 10 ------ An exhausted Nikola Jokic had 35 points and 13 rebounds in more than 36 minutes of action to help the Denver Nuggets hold off the Golden State Warriors, 108-105. Reggie Jackson, filling in for an injured Jamal Murray, added 20 points to help the defending champion Nuggets improve to an NBA-best 8-1 overall and 6-0 at home.

Jokic played the entire third quarter in an effort to help out a struggling bench unit. He also exerted energy trying to fend off Warriors big man Kevon Looney. Jokic had a chance to wrap up the win at the free throw line with 15 seconds left and the Nuggets up 107-105, but missed both. Stephen Curry's floater in the lane to tie it up was off the mark and the ball went out of bounds off the Warriors. Jackson hit one of two free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining, and Klay Thompson couldn't get a shot off at the buzzer. Michael Porter Jr. scored 17 points for Denver, and Aaron Gordon added 14 points and 11 rebounds. Curry, fresh off winning the Western Conference player of the week award, was hounded all night, mostly by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and finished with 23 points. Thompson had 15.

Denver led by 12 in the first half, trailed by five early in the fourth quarter and then rallied behind Jackson and Jokic. What kept the Warriors close was their bench. The Warriors' reserves outscored the Nuggets' backups 42-12. Both teams were short-handed, with the Nuggets missing Murray for a second straight game because of a strained right hamstring. The Warriors were without playmaker Draymond Green for personal reasons and guard Gary Payton II due to an illness.

The show within the show was the matchup between former MVPs Curry and Jokic. Jokic showed his court vision, finishing with five assists and none better than his pass to a cutting Jackson to make it 105-102 with 1:09 remaining. Curry flashed his long-range magic, hitting 6 of 13 from behind the arc. He's drained four or more 3-pointers in nine straight games to start the season.

Warriors: Host Cleveland on Saturday night after playing seven of their first nine on the road.

Nuggets: At Houston on Sunday night.



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