The Denver Nuggets made a spectacular comeback to force Game 7 against the LA Clippers and prove their worth once again. Jokic and the boys were in the hole at one point in the third quarter but made a superb recovery to win this one 111-98.
It seems that Michael Malone’s boys love to play with their backs against the wall and that unlike the majority of teams, they got fired up and motivated once being written off.
And they were, at the start of the second half, when Clippers had a 19-point lead and a massive morale edge over their rivals. However, that wasn’t enough. The Nuggets had a 17-0 run, knocking out the team from LA, who didn’t know what happened. The camera often caught coach Doc Rivers with a numb look on his face.
“We clearly have the right formula … but then we keep losing it,” Doc stated. “It was beautiful basketball, and then we stopped playing. We stopped moving the ball.”
The key player in Denver’s crew was Nikola Jokic, who was all over the court. The Joker was frustrated with the referee criteria throughout the first half, especially in the closing moments of the same. Coach Malone, too, couldn’t be quiet after several decisions, and he received a technical foul for one loud reaction. He would emphasize those controversial calls as a spark that fired up his boys.
“My favorite part about Nikola Jokic — he doesn’t get really excited too often. … When I see Nikola emotional and yelling and screaming and pounding his chest, I know we’re in a good place,” Malone explained, following the contest.
Jokic had 34 points, a few threes with the game on the line, 14 points and seven assists. The Joker was 13-for-22 from the field, and 4-for-6 for three.
“We don’t have pressure. All the pressure is on them,” Jokic told the reporters once being asked about Game 7.
And really, the pressure is on LAC, who was already seen in the next round after Game 3. Being up 3-1, the majority expected to see the West finals with two teams from the City of Angels pretty soon. While the Lakers managed to eliminate Houston Rockets and earn their spot in the WCF, the Nuggets interrupted those plans.
Jamal Murray finally met the expectations, scoring 21 points, 9-for-13, and recording five boards and dimes each. Garry Harris was there when needed also, only he was much better in the defense. The Nuggets’ guard made some big plays on both ends of the floor in critical moments. He had 16 points, four assists, and steals, and a massive contribution in stopping the Clippers’ stars when needed. Even though that doesn’t sound logical when looking at their numbers, it really was like that.
“We don’t have pressure. I think the whole pressure is on them.”
– Nikola Jokic on Game 7pic.twitter.com/WrtTrfVXNz
— Top Ball Coverage (@TopBallCoverage) September 13, 2020
Paul George had 33 points but scored just a few in the decisive moments. George had five steals and six rebounds, too. Kawhi stopped at 25 and 8 rebounds with five assists, but he too was pale in the final part of the contest. Two of the Clippers’ superstars were 17-for-39 combined from the field.
Apart from Lou Williams, who added 14 off the bench, there were no other players in Rivers’ team who would help.
Game 7 is this Tuesday. The Nuggets were already in this position in the previous round against the Utah Jazz. They clawed their way back out of the hole after 1-3, to eliminate Utah. Jokic’s words that the pressure is on the rivals are true, and we’ll see how the Clippers respond to such situations.
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.