Nikola Jokic nabs first-ever triple-double in return from hip injury as Nuggets hold off Bucks
Nikola Jokic had his first career triple-double as he finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. AP

NIKOLA Jokic notched his first triple-double in helping the Denver Nuggets douse a furious Milwaukee Bucks rally from 22 points down to come out with a 121-117 win at the Pepsi Center on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).

Jokic continued his stellar season and didn’t skip a beat even after missing the last three games due to a hip injury, as the 6-foot-10 forward finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. Wilson Chandler led six Nuggets players in double figures with 23 markers, as Denver (22-27) got off to a hot start before doing just enough to hold off Milwaukee.

The Nuggets went on a 26-9 to close the first half strong and take a 70-53 lead at the break. Denver led by as much as 22 early in the third before Milwaukee mounted a 15-5 rally to get within seven near the end of the period.

Giannis Antetokounmpo then capped a 23-15 run in the fourth with two straight buckets to get the Bucks behind just by one point, 113-112, with 2:53 to play. Gary Harris and Jabari Parker traded baskets, before Jameer Nelson gave the Nuggets a four-point edge with a huge triple at the 1:30 mark.

Antetokounmpo and Parker made costly turnovers in the ensuing possessions while the Nuggets took care of business from the stripe to break a two-game slide and deal the Bucks their fifth straight loss.

Kenneth Faried ended up with 19 points and 11 rebounds for Denver, while Jamal Murray chipped in 18 off the bench.

Parker led all scorers with 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as well. Antetokounmpo finished with 23 markers for the Bucks (21-28). John Henson added 16 points, five boards and four blocks. 

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