NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Good news Knicks fans, the season is nearly over. After Friday night’s latest loss, there are only nine games left to play.
Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 17 rebounds, Jamal Murray scored 18 points, and the Denver Nuggets beat the New York Knicks 111-93 for their sixth straight victory.
Gary Harris chipped in 14 points for Denver, which moved into a tie with defending champion Golden State for first place in the Western Conference with 11 games remaining for each team.
Will Barton scored 10 of his 12 in the opening quarter as the Nuggets jumped out to a 37-18 lead.
Former Nuggets first-round pick Emmanuel Mudiay had 21 points and rookie Mitchell Robinson added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who have lost their last three games and 11 of 12.
Mario Hezonja’s basket cut the lead to 67-59 with 5:52 left in the third quarter, but that was the closest the Knicks would get the rest of the night. Denver then broke away with a 15-3 spurt highlighted by seven points from Jokic and a layup from Monte Morris before time expired to extend the lead 82-62 heading into the fourth quarter.
New York’s 59th loss puts them one defeat away from the franchise’s second 60-loss season in history. They also have a chance to set a new record for futility as they close in on the dismal record of the 2014-15 Knicks, who finished that season 17-65.
Denver swept the season series from the Knicks. The Nuggets have beaten New York in 16 of their last 21 meetings.
Knicks PG Frank Ntilikina played for the first time since Jan. 27 after missing 24 games due to a sore groin. He scored five points and had five assists in 25 minutes off the bench.
The Knicks continue their six-game homestand when they host the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)