Nikola Jokic plans to spend an off day on the swimming pool along with his daughter. He is not going to spend a second fascinated with basketball.
The Denver huge man has actually earned a break.
An exhausted Jokic had 35 factors and 13 rebounds in additional than 36 minutes of motion to assist the Nuggets maintain off the Golden State Warriors 108-105 on Wednesday evening.
Reggie Jackson, filling in for an injured Jamal Murray, added 20 factors to assist the defending champion Nuggets enhance to an NBA-best 8-1 general and 6-0 at dwelling.
“We really feel prefer it’s an excellent group of fellows and we’re enjoying the precise method,” Jokic stated. “I believe that is why we’re profitable the video games.”
Jokic performed the complete third quarter in an effort to assist out a struggling bench unit. He additionally exerted power making an attempt to fend off Warriors huge man Kevon Looney. Jokic had an opportunity to wrap it up with 15 seconds left and the Nuggets up 107-105, however missed two free throws.
Stephen Curry‘s floater within the lane to tie it up was off the mark and the ball went out of bounds off the Warriors. Jackson hit considered one of two free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining, and Klay Thompson could not get a shot off on the buzzer.
“I assumed we competed at a excessive degree,” stated Thompson, who had 15 factors. “We had been proper there, gave ourselves an opportunity to win in a really onerous place to win.”
Michael Porter Jr. scored 17 factors for Denver, and Aaron Gordon added 14 factors and 11 rebounds.
Curry, contemporary off profitable the Western Convention participant of the week award, was hounded all evening, largely by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and completed with 23 factors.
Denver led by 12 within the first half, trailed by 5 early within the fourth quarter after which rallied behind Jackson and Jokic.
What stored the Warriors shut was their bench. Golden State’s reserves outscored Denver’s backups 42-12.
“I assumed that our bench struggled tonight,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone stated. “Our younger guys, I did not assume had been actually ready to return into the sport and play tonight. First time I’ve seen that this season and so they’ll be taught from it.”
Malone went with veteran Justin Vacation over one of many youthful gamers within the fourth quarter.
“I am not the Salvation Military. I am not simply going to provide minutes,” Malone stated. “You must proceed to earn your minutes.”
Each groups had been short-handed, with the Nuggets lacking Murray for a second straight sport due to a strained proper hamstring. The Warriors had been with out p Draymond Inexperienced for private causes and Gary Payton II resulting from an sickness.
The present throughout the present was the matchup between former MVPs Curry and Jokic.
Jokic confirmed his court docket imaginative and prescient, ending with 5 assists and none higher than his cross to a chopping Jackson to make it 105-102 with 1:09 remaining. Jokic additionally got here out with a mindset to take extra pictures in opposition to Golden State. He completed 14 of 25, going 1 of 8 from 3-point vary.
“He approaches the sport completely different sport to sport,” Looney defined. “I felt like he was actually aggressive as we speak.”
Curry flashed his long-range magic, hitting 6 of 13 from behind the arc. He is drained 4 or extra 3-pointers in 9 straight video games to begin the season.
“It was a hell of a battle. Our guys actually competed and gave themselves an opportunity to win,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr stated. “Powerful, robust strategy to end however could not be extra happy with them and extra enthusiastic about our group.”
Warriors: Host Cleveland on Saturday evening after enjoying seven of their first 9 on the highway.
Nuggets: At Houston on Sunday evening.