Nikola Jokic scored 27 points on 13-of-16 shooting from the floor and dished out 11 assists to lead the Denver Nuggets to their sixth straight win, a 134-119 rout of the visiting Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.
Denver remained one of the NBA’s hottest teams, earning its 15th victory in the past 18 games.
The Nuggets took control early, closing the first quarter on a 9-0 run that proved decisive. The burst carried over into the second period, ultimately extending to 14-0 before the Pistons ended a 4:15 scoring drought.
The Nuggets dominated the second quarter with a 37-point eruption and took a 20-point lead into halftime. Denver extended its advantage to 28 points in the third quarter.
Michael Porter Jr. and Will Barton scored 25 and 24 points, respectively, for Denver. Paul Millsap added 12 points, and Monte Morris chipped in 10 points.
Jokic grabbed eight rebounds and Porter had seven to contribute to the Nuggets’ 44-30 advantage on the glass. Barton pulled in six rebounds, handed out four assists and made two steals.
Porter and Barton both knocked down three 3-pointers as the Nuggets made 14 of 31 as a team from beyond the arc. Denver shot 59.6 percent from the floor overall.
Jerami Grant led Detroit in his return to Denver, where he played in the 2019-20 season, posting 29 points, five rebounds and four assists. Saddiq Bey, who finished with 25 points, shot 6 of 12 from 3-point range to lead Detroit’s 15-of-35 shooting from outside.
Frank Jackson came off the bench to score 11 points for the Pistons, who have alternated losses and wins over the past seven games.
The Pistons’ effective 3-point shooting was not enough to combat the Nuggets’ dominance on the interior. Denver outscored Detroit 62-48 in the paint.
In addition to Jokic’s 11 assists, Nuggets reserves PJ Dozier and Facundo Campazzo contributed five apiece.