Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets handles the ball against the Houston Rockets on November 6, 2021 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. (AFP)

Nikola Jokic tallied 28 points and 14 rebounds and made a clutch game-saving block at the buzzer as the Denver Nuggets survived a late scare to edge the slumping Houston Rockets 95-94 on Saturday.

Will Barton posted 15 points and six assists, and Aaron Gordon nailed consecutive three-pointers in the final two minutes for the Nuggets, who won their second consecutive NBA contest.

Gordon scored six straight points before Jokic iced the win with a block of a Jae’Sean Tate layup as the buzzer sounded. Earlier, Daniel Theis hit a three-pointer with 2:46 remaining to make it 94-89 for Houston.

After the block, the Nuggets celebrated with Jokic on the court.

“I didn’t jump, I went up, I didn’t even block it,” he said. “I think I actually hit it when I was jumping. Like a poke — I poked the ball.”

Barton tallied 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Denver, which won despite shooting a dismal 22.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Theis returned after missing two games with a sore right toe for the Rockets, which has lost seven in a row. Christian Wood and Eric Gordon scored 12 points each.

The Rockets shot 52.6 percent in the first quarter to move ahead 27-26, and then expanded its lead to 41-33 with 4:51 left in the half.

Tate’s initial reaction was that the officials should have called a foul on Jokic.

“I thought I got fouled, honestly,” he said. “I could have stayed corner; I should have stayed corner.”

In Miami, Tyler Herro had 29 points and Jimmy Butler 27 as the host Miami Heat used a balanced offense to win for the sixth time in their last seven by beating the Utah Jazz 118-115.

Kyle Lowry had a triple-double, including 20 points, for the Heat, who shot 60 percent from the floor overall.

Donovan Mitchell led all scorers with 37 points for the Jazz, who had a three-game winning streak stopped.

Miami took the lead for good late in the third quarter after Mitchell had tied it 74-74 with a basket with 2:40 to go.

Source: Manila Bulletin (