NBA roundup: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets take command over Wolves

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Jokic amassed 20 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds while leading the Denver Nuggets to a 120-111 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 3 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series on Friday in Minneapolis.

The top-seeded Nuggets grabbed a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series and will aim for a sweep on Sunday in Minnesota.

Denver, which never trailed in the final three quarters, got 25 points and nine rebounds from Michael Porter Jr. Jamal Murray contributed 18 points and nine assists. The triple-double was Jokic’s seventh in postseason play. The only center with more career postseason triple-doubles was Wilt Chamberlain, who had nine.

The eighth-seeded Timberwolves fell short despite Anthony Edwards’ game-high 36 points. Karl-Anthony Towns logged 27 points, and Rudy Gobert totaled 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Knicks 99, Cavaliers 79

Jalen Brunson produced 21 points and six assists to help host New York register a convincing victory over cold-shooting Cleveland in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

RJ Barrett registered 19 points and eight rebounds and Josh Hart added 13 points and six rebounds as New York took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Julius Randle contributed 11 points and eight rebounds despite 3-of-15 shooting, and Immanuel Quickley also scored 11 points.

Donovan Mitchell recorded 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Caris LeVert added 17 points for the Cavaliers, who shot just 38.8 percent from the field, including a woeful 7 of 33 (21.2 percent) from behind the arc. Game 4 is Sunday in New York.

Hawks 130, Celtics 122

Trae Young had game highs of 32 points and nine assists to lead host Atlanta to a victory over Boston in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

Young, who added six rebounds and two blocked shots, was 12-of-22 from the field and scored nine consecutive points as the Hawks finished up the win. Dejounte Murray added 25 points for Atlanta, which lost the first two games of the series in Boston. Game 4 will be played Sunday night in Atlanta.

Boston trailed 124-121 and had the ball, but Jayson Tatum missed a 3-point attempt and Young made a jumper on the ensuing possession to put the Hawks up 126-121 with 45.5 seconds to play. Tatum led the Celtics with 29 points and 10 rebounds and added five assists. Marcus Smart finished with 24 points, eight assists and three steals, and Malcolm Brogdon scored 17 points.

–Field Level Media

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