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Nuggets grind out victory over fading Wizards

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By Agence France-Presse

Nikola Jokic tallied 15 points and 11 assists as the Denver Nuggets used a balanced attack to win their fifth straight game with a 113-108 victory over the Washington Wizards on Thursday.

Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and Torrey Craig added 15 points for the Nuggets, who were playing for the first time since punching their ticket to the playoffs on Monday in a win over the Boston Celtics.

“I was really worried about this game just because of the hangover effect of clinching in Boston,” coach Michael Malone said. “To pull this out, even though it wasn’t pretty, speaks to our team and not being satisfied.”

Eight players reached double figures for Denver, who are on a four-game road trip.

Bradley Beal scored 25 points, Tomas Satoransky had 16 points and 10 assists and Thomas Bryant scored 22 in his first start in a month for Washington, who are seeing their playoff hopes dim after dropping their third straight.

The Wizards are now six games back of eighth-place Miami with nine games left in the season.

“You try to be optimistic about it, but realistic at the same time, too,” Beal said. “It’s tough when you’re in the position where you need help from other teams. They’re trying to make it just like we are.”