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Jokic notches triple-double, Nuggets cruise by Kings 130-104

DENVER (AP) Although Paul Millsap took his lumps - courtesy of teammate Nikola Jokic's chin - his team only delivered them.

''Long overdue for a blowout like that,'' Millsap said.

Jokic had 20 points , 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his seventh triple-double of the season, Gary Harris added 21 points and the Denver Nuggets cruised to a 130-104 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

Denver led by as many as 36 points while staying in the thick of the playoff chase. The Nuggets now enter a difficult stretch in their schedule - eight of their next nine games are on the road.

Led by Harris and Will Barton, the Nuggets turned up the tempo in the second quarter to pull away. Denver was in such control that most of its starters - all but Harris - got the fourth quarter off.

''It's great when you can build the lead and sustain that lead,'' Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. ''We were able to do that tonight and obviously for what we have in mind, what our goals are, to be a playoff team, you need to do that.''

Jokic made his presence felt. Then again, that's been the case since Malone had a talk with him after Jokic's clunker of a game at Dallas last week. Malone's message was straight to the point: Be more aggressive.

It's sinking in. Jokic has scored 36, 21 and now 20 since that conversation.

''I don't want to be there doing nothing,'' Jokic said. ''I want to hit the boards, get an assist, score, just to be aggressive and be in the game.''

Sacramento big man Zach Randolph had high praise for Jokic.

''Jokic, man, he's special,'' Randolph said. ''He's a future All-Star.''

Everything went smoothly for the Nuggets before Millsap and Jokic were dinged up in a collision midway through the third quarter. Millsap's head banged into the chin of Jokic when they were covering Randolph. They remained in the game.

''You can't tell by my hair, but I have a nice lump under there,'' Millsap said. ''I thought (Jokic) was going to bleed after that. He's got a strong chin. He can take a punch.''

Buddy Hield scored 18 points, while former Nuggets player Kosta Koufos chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings.

''Either you're going to hit people or you're going to be hit,'' Kings coach Dave Joerger said. ''We got hit and they just kept going.''

TIP-INS

Kings: F Skal Labissiere missed the game with a bruised left hip. ... C Willie Cauley-Stein and G De'Aaron Fox returned to the lineup after missing time with back ailments. Both Cauley-Stein and Fox scored 12 points.

Nuggets: F Juancho Hernangomez was inactive with F Wilson Chandler back on the court after missing a game with hip soreness. Chandler had 16 points. ... The Nuggets had a season-high 26 turnovers in a loss at Sacramento on Jan. 6. This time, Denver turned the ball over just eight times. ... G Jamal Murray added 20 points.

FIERY EMOTION

Malone spoke with Murray after the guard got under the skin of Los Angeles coach Luke Walton and the Lakers with his late-game trash talk in a 125-116 win Friday.

''Jamal plays with emotion,'' Malone said. ''I didn't have any issues with Jamal's play or antics out there.''

THAT'S IT?

Murray was surprised that Jokic has just seven triple-doubles this season.

''It seems like he has like 20 at this point,'' Murray said.

DRESSED FOR SUCCESS

Passing by Murray's interview, veteran Richard Jefferson couldn't help but comment on a well-dressed Murray.

''This is a prime example of what Deion Sanders once said: `When you dress good, you feel good. When you feel good, you play good. When you play good, they pay good,''' Jefferson said, laughing, as he exited the locker room.

UP NEXT

Kings: Finish a two-game trip at Oklahoma City on Monday. The Kings are 4-9 on the second night of a back-to-back this season.

Nuggets: At the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. It could be testy, given Murray's verbal sparring coming three months after he dribbled around Lonzo Ball in the waning seconds of a win in December.

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Key Players
Z. Randolph
50 PF
N. Jokic
15 C
31.4 Min. Per Game 31.4
17.1 Pts. Per Game 17.1
6.0 Ast. Per Game 6.0
10.4 Reb. Per Game 10.4
48.0 Field Goal % 49.5
48.0 Three Point % 49.4
79.6 Free Throw % 84.4
  24-second shot clock violation turnover 0:02
  Offensive rebound by Malik Beasley 0:25
  Darrell Arthur missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:27
+ 1 Bruno Caboclo made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:41
+ 1 Bruno Caboclo made 1st of 2 free throws 0:41
  Shooting foul on Trey Lyles 0:41
  Defensive rebound by Justin Jackson 0:54
  Malik Beasley missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:56
  Defensive rebound by Malik Beasley 1:04
  Buddy Hield missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:10
+ 2 Trey Lyles made dunk, assist by Richard Jefferson 1:16
Team Stats
Points 104 130
Field Goals 39-91 (42.9%) 50-89 (56.2%)
3-Pointers 6-31 (19.4%) 15-37 (40.5%)
Free Throws 20-26 (76.9%) 15-21 (71.4%)
Total Rebounds 47 56
Offensive 7 8
Defensive 31 43
Team 9 5
Assists 25 38
Steals 3 2
Blocks 1 4
Turnovers 3 7
Fouls 21 17
Technicals 0 0
12 PTS, 3 REB, 9 AST
20 PTS, 11 REB, 10 AST
1234T
away team logo Kings 21-46 25241936104
home team logo Nuggets 37-30 32343529130
Team Stats
away team logo Kings 21-46 PPG RPG APG
home team logo Nuggets 37-30 PPG RPG APG
Key Players
B. Hield SG 13.5 PPG 3.8 RPG 1.9 APG 44.6 FG%
G. Harris SG 17.5 PPG 2.6 RPG 2.9 APG 48.5 FG%
Top Scorers
B. Hield SG 18 PTS 5 REB 4 AST
G. Harris SG 21 PTS 1 REB 2 AST
42.9 FG% 56.2
19.4 3PT FG% 40.5
76.9 FT% 71.4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Koufos 19 14 10 0 1 0 0 2 7/10 0/0 0/0 1 9 25 -24
D. Fox 30 12 3 9 0 0 0 2 4/9 0/2 4/6 0 3 33 -22
Z. Randolph 21 12 5 3 0 0 2 3 6/14 0/2 0/0 0 5 21 -24
J. Jackson 27 8 1 0 0 0 0 3 3/5 1/3 1/2 0 1 9 -19
B. Bogdanovic 23 6 1 3 0 0 1 2 2/10 1/7 1/2 1 0 12 -26
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Koufos 19 14 10 0 1 0 0 2 7/10 0/0 0/0 1 9 25 -24
D. Fox 30 12 3 9 0 0 0 2 4/9 0/2 4/6 0 3 33 -22
Z. Randolph 21 12 5 3 0 0 2 3 6/14 0/2 0/0 0 5 21 -24
J. Jackson 27 8 1 0 0 0 0 3 3/5 1/3 1/2 0 1 9 -19
B. Bogdanovic 23 6 1 3 0 0 1 2 2/10 1/7 1/2 1 0 12 -26
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
B. Hield 27 18 5 4 0 1 0 1 8/15 2/6 0/0 1 4 32 -1
W. Cauley-Stein 30 12 8 3 1 0 0 2 4/11 1/1 3/4 3 5 27 -8
F. Mason III 17 10 2 2 0 0 0 1 2/6 0/2 6/6 0 2 16 -4
G. Temple 19 7 0 0 0 0 0 2 2/5 1/3 2/2 0 0 7 +1
B. Caboclo 13 5 3 1 1 0 0 2 1/3 0/2 3/4 1 2 11 +1
V. Carter 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0/3 0/3 0/0 0 0 0 -4
I. Shumpert - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Cooley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Sampson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Labissiere - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Giles - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 104 38 25 3 1 3 21 39/91 6/31 20/26 7 31 193 -130
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Harris 32 21 1 2 0 0 0 1 9/16 2/9 1/1 0 1 26 +27
N. Jokic 29 20 11 10 2 1 2 1 8/10 4/4 0/0 0 11 52 +33
J. Murray 28 20 3 5 0 0 1 0 8/16 2/7 2/2 0 3 32 +27
W. Chandler 26 16 6 3 0 1 0 1 6/9 2/3 2/4 3 3 29 +23
P. Millsap 23 6 9 4 0 0 0 2 2/6 0/2 2/5 2 7 23 +32
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Harris 32 21 1 2 0 0 0 1 9/16 2/9 1/1 0 1 26 +27
N. Jokic 29 20 11 10 2 1 2 1 8/10 4/4 0/0 0 11 52 +33
J. Murray 28 20 3 5 0 0 1 0 8/16 2/7 2/2 0 3 32 +27
W. Chandler 26 16 6 3 0 1 0 1 6/9 2/3 2/4 3 3 29 +23
P. Millsap 23 6 9 4 0 0 0 2 2/6 0/2 2/5 2 7 23 +32
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Lyles 18 14 8 3 0 0 0 2 5/9 0/1 4/4 0 8 28 -5
D. Harris 20 11 1 1 0 0 2 5 4/7 3/6 0/1 0 1 12 -1
W. Barton 24 9 6 4 0 0 1 3 3/5 0/1 3/3 0 6 22 +3
M. Plumlee 20 7 4 3 0 2 1 2 3/5 0/0 1/1 2 2 18 -4
D. Arthur 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1/3 1/2 0/0 0 0 3 -2
M. Beasley 6 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 1/3 1/2 0/0 1 1 7 -4
R. Jefferson 4 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 4 +1
K. Faried - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Lydon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Hernangomez - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Morris - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Craig - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 233 130 51 38 2 4 7 17 50/89 15/37 15/21 8 43 256 +130