Nikola Jokic needed just three quarters to record his 53rd double-double of the season and help the injury-hit Denver Nuggets to a 121-111 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
The Serbia international had 19 points and 11 rebounds and six of his team-mates scored in double figures in a game where the Nuggets took control during a 31-8 run through the third and fourth quarters.
Denver’s fourth-consecutive win was all the more notable given they are without injured starters Jamal Murray, Monte Morris and Will Barton, while top scorer Michael Porter Jr (23) rolled his left ankle late in Wednesday’s game.
The Milwaukee Bucks will be sweating on the health of Giannis Antetokounmpo after the reigning MVP exited their game against the Houston Rockets in the first minute with a sprained ankle.
The league-worst Rockets snapped a five-game losing streak courtesy of a career-high 50 points from guard Kevin Porter Jr and finished 143-136 over the Bucks.
The New Orleans Pelicans moved closer to 10th spot in the Western Conference and a chance at the play-offs with a 109-95 effort over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Pelicans will next host the Minnesota Timberwolves, whose rookie guard Anthony Edwards scored 18 of his 25 points during a big fourth quarter that saw Minnesota triumph 126-114 against the Golden State Warriors and snatch their fourth-straight win.
Steph Curry pushed aside an inaccurate start with the ball to record 37 points for the Warriors, who sit in the desired 10th place in the West, while Kevin Durant had 42 as his Eastern Conference-leading Brooklyn Nets dominated the Indiana Pacers 130-113 in Indianapolis.
Tim Hardaway Jr also had 42, the highest score of his career, as his Dallas Mavericks beat the East’s last-placed Detroit Pistons 115-105.