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>>Nuggets Rout Bulls
 
Nikola Jokic had 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists and the Denver Nuggets routed the Chicago Bulls 135-102 on Wednesday night.
 
Denver shot 61.4 percent (51 for 83) from the field and had seven players score in double figures. Paul Millsap had 22 points and eight rebounds in 27 minutes, and Wilson Chandler made five of the Nuggets' 20 3-pointers on his way to 19 points.
 
The Nuggets (39-33) improved to 1-2 on a seven-game trip and pulled within 1 1/2 games of idle Utah for eighth in the Western Conference playoff race.
 
The 7-foot Jokic went 9 for 11 from the field and made each of his two 3-point tries.
 
Cristiano Felicio scored 16 points for the Bulls (24-47), who have dropped four of five. Bobby Portis had 15 points and eight rebounds, and Noah Vonleh finished with 14 points.
 
Chicago played without Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine due to injuries, and veteran center Robin Lopez did not dress. Dunn has a right toe sprain, Markkanen has been bothered by lower back spasms and LaVine is out with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.
 
LaVine (16.7 points per game), Markkanen (14.9) and Dunn (13.4) are the Bulls' top three scorers after Nikola Mirotic was traded to New Orleans last month.
 
The Nuggets opened a 33-23 lead on Jokic's layup with 1:15 left in the first quarter and maintained a double-digit advantage for the rest of the game. Once a fast shooting start for the Bulls wore off, it was never in doubt.
 
The lead ballooned to 20 for the first time on Chandler's layup with 5:52 left in the first half. It got up to 30 when Jokic and Will Barton hit consecutive 3-pointers, making it 74-44 with 58.2 seconds remaining in the quarter.
 
Jokic then made a slick pass to set up Jamal Murray's three-point play, helping Denver to a 77-46 halftime lead. The Nuggets shot 68.3 percent (28 for 41) from the field in their highest-scoring first half of the season.
 
The Bulls host Milwaukee on Friday night in the finale of their season series. 
 
>>Pelicans Hold Off Pacers
 
Anthony Davis pushed the advantage to six points with his gritty put-back of Jrue Holiday's missed free throw with 15 seconds left. Then the 25-year-old, five-time All-Star added two more clutch free throws with 7.6 seconds left, finishing with 28 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks, and the Pelicans outlasted the Pacers 96-92 on Wednesday night.
E'Twaun Moore scored 23 for New Orleans, which had to overcome a scrappy defensive effort by Indiana to win its third straight.
 
The Pelicans, who average nearly 112 points per game, were limited to 43 percent (34 of 79) accuracy by the Pacers, who also turned 20 turnovers by New Orleans into 15 points.
 
The Pacers shot only 36.6 percent (34 of 93), but kept the game close with 15 offensive rebounds and 17 second-chance points.
 
Neither team led by more than six, and the game was tied at 87 with 1:49 left, after Victor Oladipo's block of Jrue Holiday sent Darren Collison away for a fast-break layup as he was fouled by Moore.
 
Moore put back his own miss with 1:24 to play to put the Pelicans back in front for good.
 
Nikola Mirotic scored 15 for New Orleans, including crucial back-to-back 3s inside the final four minutes after he'd started 0 for 7 from long range.
 
Oladipo led Indiana with 21 points. Myles Turner added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
 
The Pacers host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

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