Jokic, 3 other starters out for Nuggets at Timberwolves
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic has been ruled out for Sunday night's game at Minnesota because of left hamstring tightness.
Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also rested injuries after playing in Saturday night's 128-108 victory over Atlanta at home. Gordon has a left ankle sprain, Caldwell-Pope has a right ankle sprain and Murray is dealing with a left knee issue.
Jokic, Murray, Gordon and Caldwell-Pope did not make the trip to Minnesota. The tip-off time between the back-to-back games was just 22 hours, attracting the attention of Denver coach Mike Malone.
Malone called the situation “ridiculous.”
“The one thing that is really perplexing in this individual scenario is it's the second night of a back-to-back we're playing 22 hours after tip-off last night," Malone said. "When I told our players that, a veteran like Jeff Green looked at me like I was crazy. He said, ‘That’s not allowed. That's not legal.' And, obviously, it is."
Murray played more than 36 minutes in the win over the Hawks, finishing with 41 points. Jokic, who missed four games in January but had played in four in a row, played more than 34 minutes. He finished with 14 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists.
Bruce Brown, Christian Braun, Michael Porter Jr., Vlatko Cancar and DeAndre Jordan were in the starting lineup against the Timberwolves. The teams play in Denver on Tuesday.
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Brian Hall, The Associated Press