NBA | NUGGETS
Nuggets: Malone calls Jokic "one of better NBA clutch players" for inspiring win over Pelicans
Nikola Jokic registered the 61st triple-double of his career and his best points haul of the season in the Denver Nuggets' win on Wednesday.
Michael Malone says Nikola Jokic gave another demonstration he is "one of the better clutch players in the NBA" after he inspired the Denver Nuggets to a win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Reigning MVP Jokic scored a season-high 39 points to go with 11 assists and 11 rebounds in a 120-114 overtime victory in Louisiana on Wednesday.
Jokic came up with the first 11 points for the Nuggets in the extra period to give them a cushion, and Denver head coach Malone hailed the Serbia star after his side moved to 12-12.
Malone on Jokic: "He's going to out-smart you"
Malone said: "He's not going to out-quick you, he's not going to out-jump you. He's going to out-skill you, he's going to out-smart you, and he does it so methodically.
"He's one of the better clutch players in the NBA in the last five years, and tonight we saw many more examples of that."
Jokic's triple-double was the 61st of his career and a fourth this season. He is eighth on the all-time list, two ahead of the great Larry Bird and one behind James Harden. Russell Westbrook leads the way on 189.
He said in his on-court interview: "It felt good. The team believed in me. The coach drew a couple of plays for me. The ball went in and we just kept rolling.
"Bottom line, I think they really trust me and I'm really comfortable taking shots in those situations."
Denver face the San Antonio Spurs (8-15) on Thursday.