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>>Nuggets Bag Bulls

 

Jamal Murray scored 22 of his 25 points in the third quarter, Nikola Jokic finished two rebounds shy of another triple-double and the Nuggets cruised past Chicago 135-105 on Thursday night for their 12th straight home win over the Bulls.

 

On Tuesday, the Nuggets were drubbed 142-111 by Golden State in a matchup of the top two teams in the Western Conference.

 

Jokic did a little bit of everything, finishing with 18 points and 11 assists. 

 

Lauri Markkanen scored 27 as his team that finished up a fruitless five-game trip. 

 

Rookie C Wendell Carter Jr. was ruled out with a sprained left thumb. He's day to day. Zach LaVine was held to eight points, well below his average of 23.2.

 

The Bulls host Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat on Saturday.

 

>>Sixers Down Pacers

 

Joel Embiid had 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists Thursday night to lead the Sixers to their seventh win in nine games, a 120-96 blowout of the Indiana Pacers.

 

Jimmy Butler added 27 points and eight assists as Philadelphia shot 53 percent and finished with 38 assists, the most by an Indiana opponent this season.

Ben Simmons (eight assists), J.J. Redick (five) and T.J. McConnell (five) also showed their passing prowess.

 

Redick contributed 20 points. Indiana's starting backcourt of Darren Collison and All-Star Victor Oladipo was limited to 21 combined points on 9-of-30 shooting.

 

What had been a competitive game turned into a rout in the third quarter. The 76ers led 28-25 after the first quarter and 54-48 at halftime, but a quick 8-0 run put them up 66-55 and prompted Pacers coach Nate McMillan to call timeout. Redick hit two 3-pointers assisted by handoffs from Embiid, and Embiid scored in the lane during the burst.

 

T.J. McConnell's driving bank shot in the final seconds of the quarter pushed the lead to 15 for the first time. Philadelphia carried that 86-71 advantage to the fourth.

 

Redick's sixth 3 made it an 18-point lead. Indiana replied with a 10-0 run, but back-to-back 3s from Embiid and his backup, Mike Muscala, quieted the crowd and forced yet another Indiana timeout.

Muscala had 11 points and seven rebounds.

 

Indiana, held to 40 percent shooting, never challenged again. Ex-Sixer Thaddeus Young had 27 points and six rebounds. Oladipo ended up with 15 points and seven assists.

 

The Pacers continue a five-game homestand Saturday night against Dallas.

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