WASHINGTON — Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone didn’t know how his team would respond to clinching its first playoff berth in six years.
So far, so good.
Nikola Jokic had 15 points and 11 assists, and the Nuggets used a balanced offense to edge the fading Washington Wizards 113-108 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.
Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and Torrey Craig also added 15 points for the Nuggets, who were playing for the first time since ensuring their postseason spot Monday in their win over the Celtics.
“I was really worried about this game just because of the hangover effect of clinching in Boston,” Malone said. “To pull this out, even though it wasn’t pretty, speaks to our team and not being satisfied.”
Eight players reached double figures for Denver, which began its second of four on the road a half-game behind Western Conference leader Golden State. The Warriors played later Thursday.
Bradley Beal scored 25 points and Tomas Satoransky had 16 points and 10 assists for Washington, which lost its third straight.
Warriors 112, Pacers 89: OAKLAND, Calif. — Kevin Durant had 15 points, six assists and three blocked shots after losing a close friend earlier in the day, and Golden State ran away from Indiana.
Hawks 117, Jazz 114: ATLANTA — Trae Young scored 23 points, including a go-ahead three-point play, and Atlanta ended Utah’s five-game winning streak.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 34 points.
Pistons 118, Suns 98: PHOENIX — Wayne Ellington scored 23 points and Detroit made 17 3-pointers in a victory over Phoenix.