Nikola Jokic had his 2nd triple-double in a row as the Nuggets beat the Bucks 110-98 Wednesday night

Posted at 9:58 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 23:58:02-05

MILWAUKEE -- The way Nikola Jokic is playing, even his teammates are astonished.

With his second triple-double in two nights, Jokic led the Denver Nuggets to a 110-98 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old center finished with 13 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his fourth career triple-double -- all in his last 13 games.

"Amazing, amazing," Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari said. "That is all I can tell you. (Jokic) is playing great for us."

Gallinari scored 22 points for Denver, which built a 31-point lead despite playing without point guard Jameer Nelson (illness) for the first time this season.

The Nuggets, coming off a victory Tuesday at Chicago, have won back-to-back road games for the first time this season. They've also won consecutive games for the first time since taking three straight Jan. 24-28.

Milwaukee's Khris Middleton finished with a season-high 21 points to go with five rebounds and five assists. The Bucks also got 15 points and nine rebounds from Giannis Antetokounmpo, but failed in their attempt to win back-to-back home games for the first time since Jan. 2.

"In our locker room right now, we don't understand the urgency -- we're young -- of what we're fighting for and that's a playoff spot," Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd said. "This is growing pains. This is something we have to go through, the process of understanding we don't have that many games left. And our energy and effort has to be high."

Once Denver's 31-point cushion was significantly trimmed, the Nuggets could no longer rest their starters.

After Matthew Dellavedova's basket cut Denver's lead to 90-77 with 8:41 left, Gallinari and Jokic walked to the scorer's table. And after Greg Monroe's offensive rebound and layup got Milwaukee to 94-82 with 6:57 remaining, Wilson Chandler and rookie Jamal Murray, starting in place of Nelson, got up off the bench.

"When we put our guys back in, obviously Nikola has that kind of impact where he is a calming influence," Denver coach Michael Malone said. "You put the ball in his hands, keep on cutting, keep on moving and something good is going to happen."

That was as close as the Bucks got, but their rally did give Jokic a chance to get another triple-double. He needed three more points when he re-entered the game and surpassed it on his jumper with 4:22 left.

Jokic totaled 19 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists against the Bulls.

Denver led 84-53 after Murray stole the ball from Middleton, which led to a layup by Gary Harris with 3:50 left in the third.


Nuggets: Malone earned the 100th win of his three-year coaching career. . Nelson remained at the team hotel.