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Denver produce NBA form reversal in London

Press Association logoPress Association 12/01/2017 By Ian Parker, Press Association Sport

Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone joked his team should consider moving to London after they upset the Indiana Pacers with a 140-112 blowout at the O2 on Thursday night.

The Nuggets had lost five straight and Indiana had won five straight before tip-off, but you would have had a hard time explaining that to any first-time onlookers as Denver dominated from the off.

The change of scenery did wonders for the Nuggets as Nikola Jokic collected 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists - while Wilson Chandler contributed 21 and Danilo Gallinari 18 among six Denver players scoring in double figures.

"I joked with our guys that we're going to stay here in London and play our home games here," Malone said.

"We were very comfortable out there and had one of our best performances."

Denver led almost from start to finish, but broke the game wide open by outscoring Indiana 28-9 in the first five minutes of the third quarter, taking a 95-65 lead from which Indiana could not recover.

The Nuggets battled through a tough, compressed schedule in the run-up to this game, but clearly used the trip to their advantage.

"I think it helped," Malone said. "We've been over here for a week and we've been able to get into a rhythm. I think we used this trip to come together as a team and really bond.

Denver held Indiana star Paul George to 10 points, while CJ Miles led the team with 20.

Denver's victory gave their assistant coach Chris Finch - who was Great Britain coach at the 2012 Olympics - a winning return to London, but Indiana coach Nate McMillan - an assistant on the United States' gold medal-winning team - will not have the same happy memories this time around.

McMillan said his team appeared to be "running in mud" but refused to blame the long trip for their lethargic performance.

"Travel? They had to travel further than we did," he said.

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