DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic finished an assist shy of a triple-double and the Denver Nuggets held off the Dallas Mavericks 125-114 on Friday night to open the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament.
Jokic had 33 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists.
He was 14 of 16 from the field, Michael Porter Jr. scored 24 points, and Jamal Murray had 18 points and 13 assists for the NBA champion Nuggets, who led by 20 points in the third quarter before seeing Dallas trim it to eight late in the game.
Jokic made a cutting layup with 1:11 remaining to seal it.
The Mavericks lost for the first time this season.
Luka Doncic finished with 34 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists but also had nine turnovers.