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Jokic has near triple-double, leads Nuggets over Spurs, 132-120

DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had a season-high 39 points to go with 11 rebounds and nine assists, and the Nuggets spoiled the Denver debut of Victor Wembanyama with a 132-120 win over San Antonio on Sunday night, sending the Spurs to their 12th straight loss.

Wembanyama, the top pick in the June draft, finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and six steals but couldn’t stop San Antonio’s slide. It is the third longest losing streak in franchise history. The Spurs lost 13 in a row in the 1988-89 season and 16 in a row last season.

Michael Porter Jr. scored 25 points and Reggie Jackson had 20 for Denver, which improved to 8-0 at home. The Nuggets had dropped four of five on their recent road trip, including a loss to Houston on Friday night that eliminated them from the NBA In-Season Tournament.

Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon sat out with a right heel strain that was bothering him in the blowout loss against the Rockets, a game in which he missed all 12 of his field goal attempts. Justin Holiday made his first start of the season in place of Gordon.

Denver coach Michael Malone said he would shake up his rotation in the wake of the 1-4 road trip and it meant DeAndre Jordan getting time as Jokic’s backup. The veteran had six points and five rebounds in six minutes in the first half and made all three of his shots from the field.

The Nuggets led by four after the first quarter and 68-48 late in the second before San Antonio rallied to get within 12 at halftime. The Spurs opened the third on a 7-2 run but Denver outscored them 33-17 the rest of the period to lead by 23 heading into the fourth.

Wembanyama nearly had a highlight dunk in the second half when he soared to the basket, but Julian Strawther fouled him to deny the bucket.


San Antonio: Hosts Atlanta on Thursday

Denver: At the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.