Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic were astonishing those who watched the clash between their Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets. The guests from Texas took home a 124-117 win after overtime, but we’ve seen these two guys competing furiously throughout all 53 minutes before that.
Both Luka and the Joker delivered blows to the opponents, scoring, assisting, and creating all sorts of trouble for the rivals. In the end, slightly younger Doncic had more luck, and his team won.
With 33.1 seconds to go, Doncic hit the step-back jumper that pulled away from the guests to a safe distance, 112-117. The former Rookie of the Year after that sunk both of his free throws, sealing the game and providing Dallas with its fourth win this season.
“He’s still young,” said Maxi Kleber. “I think a lot of times people forget that, but he’s learning every day.”
.@luka7doncic 🤝 3️⃣8️⃣ pts 🤝 Nikola Jokic
— NBAIndia (@NBAIndia) January 8, 2021
Doncic was one board shy of posting back-to-back triple-doubles, as he had 13 assists, 9 rebounds besides 38 points. The Slovenian added four steals and was 13-for-22 from the field.
Meanwhile, Jokic scored 17 points in the last period, and was unstoppable during that sequence, keeping the Nuggets alive. With the time expiring, he scored a game-tying two-pointer to level the score at 109-all. Previously, Maxi Kleber made a go-ahead three that pushed the Mavs to 109-107.
No.1 center in the league over the previous two seasons, also dropped 38 points, had 11 boards and only four assists, shooting threes 4-of-10.
“He just can’t be stopped. He’s one of those players … with his shooting touch, his post moves, ability to put the ball on the floor, then pass. … It’s nothing that you can do to stop him,” Will Barton told about Jokic.
Denver had a nice lead throughout the first half, often being a double-digit. The hosts came into the third period having the same distance, but that slowly began melting at the end of that period, once Doncic began bounding and creating situations for his teammates.
The final 12 minutes saw a fierce fight with both sides, often exchanging the lead. It was like that until the last two minutes of the OT, when Josh Richardson scored five straight baskets, one for two, and one for three points. That provided Dallas a 119-114. Jokic’s three brought back the Nuggets to a one-possession distance, but Doncic closed the event.
Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson with 14 points were the biggest help for Luka. Boban Marjanovic played 16 minutes off the bench scoring 12 points.
Jokic had Jamal Murray with 21 buckets and nine assists. There wasn’t a third guy who would jump in and add points, making the pressure on the duo a bit easier. Mchael Porter Jr. still isn’t available due to safety protocols.
Their Denver didn’t start the season as planned and is now 3-5, having two wins against the mediocre Timberwolves. Up next, the Nuggets have three consecutive games on the road, the first with the Philadelphia 76ers. After that contest, they have two in New York, vs. Knicks, and Brooklyn Nets.
The Mavs (4-4) also aren’t shinny in this campaign. Though, that could be justified with the fact that Kristaps Porzingis isn’t playing. Luka and the guys are traveling back to Dallas for two home games, one against the Orlando Magic and the other versus New Orleans Pelicans. Following these encounters, the Mavericks visit Charlotte Hornets and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.