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DENVER – Nikola Jokic had 13 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists for his second straight triple-double to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 105-91 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night in a matchup between the top two teams in the Western Conference.

Jokic followed up his 40-point, 27-rebound, 10-assist performance Sunday night with his sixth triple-double of the season and 82nd of his career. He joined Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, who did it in Game 6 of the 1982 NBA Finals, as the only players to record 13 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists in a game.

Aaron Gordon had 24 points and Bruce Brown had 16. Rookie Christian Brown scored 13 points in his first career start.

“It doesn’t change much,” Brown said. “You just have to be ready for the plays, but it didn’t change anything. Same thinking, I came to the same thing. So it’s pretty easy.”

The Browns’ defensive assignment was Ja Morant, who led Memphis with 35 points and 10 assists.

“I thought I was doing a good job on Ja and I looked in the third quarter and he was 30,” Brown said.

The Grizzlies, now tied with the Nuggets in the standings, have snapped a seven-game winning streak.

“You’re playing for first place in the Western Conference, it’s meaningless in the middle of December, but that’s what we’re playing for tonight,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. “That team is top five offensively and defensively, so we have to play our A game tonight. And I felt that Bruce, Christian, [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope]Aaron and Nicola did it.”

Denver, never trailing, shot 59% and led by 21 points in the first quarter. Jeff Green’s running back on Zaire Williams made it 37-14 and prompted a Memphis timeout with 22 seconds left.

“Insane. His new nickname is ‘Vino,’” Gordon said of the 36-year-old Green. “Centuries are like fine wine.”

Memphis got within 9 in the third period, but the Nuggets led by 20 and led by 13 entering the fourth. The Grizzlies made it 92-84 midway through the fourth, but Denver used a 13-3 run to put it away.

“Two games in a row we didn’t come out in the first quarter and we paid the price,” said “Memphis” coach Taylor Jenkins. “We had some good shots early, we just have to convert them and get ourselves started.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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