LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored 21 points, Gary Harris added 20 and the Denver Nuggets opened the season with a 107-98 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
Denver led for most of the game but was trailing 92-84 with 5:14 remaining after the Clippers went on an 11-3 run that was highlighted by a pair of Boban Marjanovic 3-point plays.
The Nuggets would retake control with their own 11-2 spurt. Jokic would give them the lead for good with 1:24 remaining with a putback layup off Jamal Murray‘s missed jumper.
Will Barton added 19 points and Paul Millsap 11 points and 16 rebounds for the Nuggets, who struggled on the road last year, going 15-26.
Tobias Harris had 19 points and 10 rebounds while Boban Marjanovic added 18 points for the Clippers.
Denver led 59-54 at the half after scoring the final six points of the second quarter. The Nuggets then extended the lead to 63-54 early in the third quarter.
Nuggets: Denver was without Isaiah Thomas (right hip surgery), Jarred Vanderbilt (right foot surgery) and Michael Porter Jr. (lower back surgery). … Trey Lyles added 10 points.
Clippers: Danilo Gallinari had 16 points while Lou Williams added 14. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was the 11th overall pick in this year’s draft, scored 11 points in his NBA debut.
Marjanovic’s dunk and hanging on the rim with 6:55 remaining in the fourth quarter caused a slight delay as the basket needed to be realigned.
Nuggets: Have their home opener against Phoenix on Saturday.
Clippers: Continue their three-game homestand on Friday against Oklahoma City.