Murray gets 1st career triple-double, Nuggets rout Pacers

Jamal Murray’s (shoes) and Nikola Jokic (suits) pink look is purely accidental.

This was not the case: Murray incorporated his best jaw-kick imitation.

Murray had his first career triple-double as the Denver Nuggets extended their winning streak to nine games with a 134-111 victory over the Indiana Pacers without Jokic on Friday night.

The two-time NBA MVP was sidelined with a tight hamstring.

Murray finished with 17 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, replicating the kind of performance typically seen from Jokic, who leads the league in triple-doubles. Afterwards, he congratulated his teammate at the point guard.

“We played our game aggressively,” Murray explained. “We were just having fun. The ball bounced.”

About their color-coordinated ensemble: “I didn’t know he looked like a peach,” cracked Murray.

On emulating Jokic in entering the triple-double division: “He steals a lot of my triple-doubles,” Murray cracked again.

Aaron Gordon scored 28 points and Michael Porter Jr. added 19 as the Western Conference-leading Nuggets extended their 16-game home winning streak. They haven’t lost a ball in his arena since December 6th against Dallas.

Nuggets acting head coach David Adelman improved to 3-0. Michael Malone will remain out after entering the league’s health and safety protocol.

A season-high 38 assists stat line is sure to please Malone. Also this — 16 steel.

“It’s been really fun to see the players continue to play the same way we do, regardless of who’s on the court,” Adelman said. “It was fun because so many people contributed. Those are special nights.

Adelman was particularly pleased with Murray, who is working hard to come back from a torn ACL that kept him out all season last season.

“He’s already got such a storied career here as a nugget and with everything he’s been through,” Adelman said. “So it’s pretty cool to see that.”

Benedict Maturin scored 19 and Chris Duarte scored 18 as the Pacers lost six games in a row. Indiana went 8 of 32 from 3-point range.

“We make a lot of mistakes. We don’t take care of the ball, myself included,” said Duarte. “We have no choice but to reduce it. We feel that if we reduce turnovers, we can stay with the rest of the team.”

Denver scored back-to-back dunks in the third quarter to thunderous applause from the crowd.

The Nuggets were jamming all night with 16 dunks. According to the team, this was his most since 1996–97 (against Washington on March 20, 2009).

“We are very unselfish,” said Murray. “I don’t really care who scores. We’re just playing free.”

tip in

Pacers: Indiana are on a six-game losing streak to Denver. … Indiana center Myles Turner scored his 15 points.

Nuggets: F Vlatko Cancar is out due to illness unrelated to COVID-19. … F Jeff Green has returned after a hand fracture made him miss 14 his games. He finished with 6 points. … G Bones Hyland did not play in the second half. he had 6 points.

Injury Update, Part I

Pacers guard Tyrese Halliburton participated in several shooting contests with his teammates on Friday. Halliburton have missed the last five games (sprained knee/elbow).

“I don’t know exactly when he’ll play, but he’s doing well,” said coach Rick Carlyle.

Injury Update, Part II

Adelman said Jokic’s absence was more of a precaution.

“He was just a little uncomfortable,” Adelman said. “If he’s not the best player in the world, he’s close, so if he’s feeling uncomfortable, we’re not going to take a chance.”


Pacers: Finish a four-game trip in Phoenix on Saturday.

The Nuggets: Sunday’s game against Oklahoma City wraps up a five-game homestand.


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