Nuggets keep Clippers winless in James Harden era


Nikola Jokic had 32 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, Aaron Gordon scored 20 points, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 111-108 in an NBA in-season tournament game on Tuesday night.

Reggie Jackson scored 18 points and Michael Porter Jr. and Christian Braun added 10 points each for Denver, which is 2-0 in the in-season tournament.

Paul George led the Clippers with 35 points, James Harden scored 21, Kawhi Leonard contributed 15, Norman Powell had 14 points and Ivica Zubac had 13 rebounds for Los Angeles, which has lost six straight and both of its in-season tournament games.

The Clippers are 0-5 in games Harden has played since he was acquired from Philadelphia late last month.

Los Angeles led 102-98 with 3:24 left, but the Nuggets scored seven straight points to go ahead by three with 1:37 left.

George then hit two free throws, but Jackson made a layup and Jokic fed Gordon for a dunk to make it 109-104 with 50 seconds left.

Leonard made two free throws and then had a steal, which led to George’s layup to make it 109-108 with 15 seconds left. Jokic made two free throws and George missed a 3-pointer, and Denver closed it out.

P.J. Tucker gave Los Angeles an 87-84 lead with a 3-pointer to open the fourth, but the Nuggets tied it when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope split two free throws with 8:30 remaining.

George hit a 14-footer and Westbrook drove the baseline to make it 93-89. The Clippers later scored four straight points to go ahead 99-92, Porter answered with a jumper and Jokic hit a short turnaround in the lane to get within three with 4:45 left.

Los Angeles missed on the other end and Gordon’s putback dunk made it 99-98 with 3:47 left.

The Nuggets led 60-52 at halftime but the Clippers rallied in the third. Harden gave Los Angeles the lead with two free throws and then made it 84-81 with a 3-pointer with five seconds left.

Gordon made a buzzer-beater from nearly halfcourt to tie the game heading into the fourth.