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Nikola Jokic sits out Nuggets' loss to Pelicans with right calf injury

The 2-time Kia MVP was unable to take the court as Denver saw its 4-game winning streak snapped.


Nikola Jokic was in street clothes due to lingering calf tightness that bothered him Monday night in a victory over Philadelphia.

Kia MVP candidate Nikola Jokic was ruled out of Thursday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans due to right calf tightness. The Nuggets’ five-time All-Star was listed as questionable in the hours leading up Denver’s 107-88 loss, which snapped the team’s 4-game win streak.

Another standard-breaking season by Jokic has him vying to become just the fourth player in NBA history to win the MVP award in three consecutive seasons. Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird were the others.

Jamal Murray had 21 points for Denver, and Bruce Brown added 19. The Nuggets lead in the Western Conference dropped to three games over Memphis with six to play.

“I don’t think about it that much, just trying to win ever night,” Brown said. “Because we’ve got a little lead we’re focused on us trying to play our best every night.”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said after the game that Murray, who played 36 minutes, may not play Friday night in Phoenix and Jokic’s status is to be determined.

Game Recap: Pelicans 107, Nuggets 88

Malone added that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was almost held out because he wasn’t feeling good but he gutted out 28 minutes.

The former second-round pick is averaging 24.9 points, 11.9 rebounds and 9.9 assists while shooting 63.4% overall and 39% from 3-point range. Jokic has the Nuggets (51-25) closing in on clinching the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference for the first time in franchise history. Denver has not made the NBA Finals since joining the league from the ABA in 1976.