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NBA round-up: LA Clippers beat Denver Nuggets despite Nikola Jokic brilliance

The LA Clippers overturned an early 17-point deficit to narrowly beat defending NBA champions the Denver Nuggets 102-100.

Nikola Jokic’s 36 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists were in vain for the Nuggets. The feat was Jokic’s 24th triple-double of the season but he missed a three-point attempt with seconds remaining. The result boosts the Clippers’ play-off hopes, though they have already secured at least a play-in spot.

The top six teams in each conference qualify for the play-offs while the teams in seventh to 10th place face play-in games for the final two spots. Paul George scored 28 points and James Harden 20 for the Clippers, who were without Kawhi Leonard, absent for the second consecutive game with a knee injury.

Elsewhere, the New York Knicks ended their three-game losing streak in style by overturning a 21-point deficit against the Sacramento Kings. Jalen Brunson scored 35 points and Josh Hart added 31 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Knicks eventually won 120-109.

The Knicks are fifth in the NBA Eastern Conference but announced before the game that Julius Randle will require surgery on a dislocated shoulder to rule him out for the rest of the season. The Philadelphia 76ers also boosted their play-off hopes with a 109-105 win over the Miami Heat, with Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid leading the charge with 37 and 29 points respectively.

Maxey returned from two games out with a hip injury and added 11 assists and nine rebounds in a team effort that leaves the 76ers eighth in the Eastern Conference, while Miami are seventh.

In the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors won their sixth game in a row with a 133-110 victory over the Houston Rockets. It was a crucial result for the Warriors, with the Rockets being the only team who could knock them out of the play-in spots.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson starred for the Warriors, both scoring 29 points. Luka Doncic led the Dallas Mavericks to victory over the Atlanta Hawks with 25 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in a 109-95 win. Kyrie Irving added 26 points as Dallas remained fifth in the conference with a 12th win from their last 14 games.


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