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Jokic returns to Nuggets in New Orleans after 2 games away

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Nikola Jokic was back in Denver’s starting lineup Tuesday night against New Orleans after missing the Nuggets’ previous two games with a strain in his left hamstring.

The 7-foot center from Serbia is a two-time NBA MVP. He is averaging 25.1 points, 11 rebounds and 9.9 assists this season.

His return comes against a Pelicans team that is missing two of its best offensive players in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

Pelicans coach Willie Green said before the announcement that if Jokic returns it will complicate his game plan.

“He’s a great player for a reason, because it’s very difficult for the coaching staff to understand him. He makes it difficult for the teams and the players,” Green said. as much as the ball is going to impact the game at some point.”

The Nuggets entered the night leading the Western Conference with a 33-14 record. They went 3-3 in the six games Jokic missed, including a loss in their previous game against Oklahoma City on Sunday that ended a nine-game winning streak.

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