Jokic’s triple-double helps Nuggets eliminate Timberwolves

DENVER — Nikola Jokic had a triple-double and Jamal Murray scored 35 points as the Denver Nuggets eliminated the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-109 in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series on Tuesday night.

Anthony Edwards, who led Minnesota with 29 points, hit the back iron on a 27-foot 3-point attempt at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime.

Jokic overcame a slow offensive start to finish with 28 points, 17 rebounds and a dozen assists. He made just 8 of 29 shots, but scored eight points down the stretch to help the Nuggets fend off the pesky Timberwolves.

Michael Malone passed Doug Moe with his 25th playoff win as Nuggets head coach.

The top-seeded Nuggets will face the winner the Phoenix Suns series in the second round.


PHOENIX — Devin Booker scored 47 points, including 25 in a spectacular third quarter, to lead the Suns past the Clippers and win the Western Conference first-round playoff series in five games.

The Clippers didn’t go quietly, nearly coming back from a 20-point deficit early in the fourth.

Los Angeles had multiple chances to tie in the final three minutes, but could never convert. Durant made a layup to push Phoenix’s lead to 134-130 and then made two free throws to put the Suns up six with 31.3 seconds left.

Durant finished with 31 points while Deandre Ayton had 21 points and 11 rebounds. Booker shot 19 of 27 from the field.

Norman Powell led Los Angeles with 27 points while Mason Plumlee scored 20 off the bench.


BOSTON — Trae Young had 38 points and drained a long go-ahead 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key with 2.8 seconds left to help Atlanta cap a late comeback and beat Boston.

The victory trims Boston’s lead in the first-round playoff series to 3-2 and sends the teams back to Atlanta for Game 6 on Thursday.

John Collins added 22 points for Atlanta, who played without Dejounte Murray, who was suspended for one game for bumping official Gediminas Petraitis with his chest while walking off the court after the end of Game 4.

Jaylen Brown scored 35 points and Jayson Tatum added 19 for the Celtics, who were outscored 37-25 in the fourth quarter. (AP)