NBA: Jose Alvarado’s career game leads Pelicans past Nuggets

Jose Alvarado Pelicans NBA

New Orleans Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado celebrates during a game against the Denver Nuggets. Photo from the New Orleans Pelicans’ Twitter

Jose Alvarado had career highs of eight 3-pointers and 38 points, and the host New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Denver Nuggets 121-106 on Sunday afternoon.

Alvarado doubled his previous high for 3-pointers on 11 attempts as the Pelicans won for the ninth time in 11 games. He led the way as the New Orleans bench outscored the Denver bench 62-18.

Zion Williamson added 25 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 13 and Trey Murphy III and Willy Hernangomez had 12 each.

Nikola Jokic had 32 points and 16 rebounds, Aaron Gordon scored 19 points, Jamal Murray had 18 and Bruce Brown 13 for the Nuggets, who lost their second straight after a four-game winning streak.

Jokic, who led all scorers with 21 first-half points, scored the first seven points of the third quarter to give Denver a 67-59 lead.

Valanciunas stopped the run with a three-point play, but moments later he went to the bench after committing his fifth foul while trying to slow down Jokic.

Williamson had two baskets and a layup by Dyson Daniels gave New Orleans a one-point lead.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope put the Nuggets back on top briefly before Murphy scored six points to help the Pelicans open an 82-75 lead.

They extended the lead to 10 before Denver trimmed it to 87-81 at the end of the third quarter.

Alvarado made a 3-pointer and four free throws as New Orleans increased the lead to 96-83 and stayed in control the rest of the way.

Jokic scored seven straight Nuggets points as they opened a 30-16 lead, but Alvarado came off the bench to spark the Pelicans.

He made two 3-pointers and Williamson added a three-point play as New Orleans closed within 31-27 at the end of the first quarter.

Devonte’ Graham hit a 3-pointer and Alvarado made back-to-back 3-pointers as the Pelicans took a 36-34 lead early in the second.

They led by as many as four points, Denver led by as many as six and the score was tied twice before Murray’s layup gave the Nuggets a 60-59 halftime lead.


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