Nikola Jokic posted another triple-double while leading his Denver Nuggets to a win over the Golden State Warriors, 114-104.
The Serbian center was unstoppable in the key moments, dropping 18 of his 23 points in the latter two quarters, once the game was on the line. The two-time All-NBA center now has five triple-doubles, but what is more important, his Nuggets reached a .500 record having six wins and losses each.
Jokic scored 23 points, shooting 8-for-16 from the field, had 14 boards and 10 assists with three steals. He would joke after the match about those three steals, adding that Mike Miller used to call him a “Cookie Monster” because of his ability to force the opponents to make turnovers.
“I’m a Cookie Monster. Maybe I’m not that good defensively, but I’m a Cookie Monster. … Mike Miller was a Cookie Monster, too,” Jokic stated.
Nikola Jokic gets his 5th triple-double of the season.
The big man is leading the NBA with 10.4 APG 🤯 pic.twitter.com/wI5H4dXsN9
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 15, 2021
His Denver was leading since the start, but they pulled away midway through the opening sequence, creating a 15-3 run to close the period. The Warriors had some pushes throughout the contest, like the one in the third period, once Steve Kerr’s side cut the deficit down to five points, 79-74, yet on each occasion, Denver responded very quickly. In that particular case, Jokic and the crew made an 11-2 burst to get back to a double-digit advantage.
Jamal Murray had another pale shooting performance, hitting just six of his 18 attempts, 1-of-8 for three. However, the young guard was excellent in all other areas, contributing with nine boards and six assists with two steals.
Will Barton played solid as well with 17 points and four boards, while JaMychal Green scored 15 points off the bench. Monte Morris had 11 and PJ Dozier 10 with six rebounds.
On the other side, Steph Curry splashed 35 buckets, 14-of-23, with 11 rebounds and four assists, all that in 37 minutes. Steph had seven turnovers, and that was something Nuggets’ head coach Mike Malone emphasized following the event.
“Even though he had 35, we made some things tough for him,” Malone said. “We were able to get some stops.”
Besides Curry, the no.2 pick from this draft, James Wiseman added 18 points, 8-of-13, and had five boards with two blocks. His dunk over Bol Bol was one of the highlights of the night in the entire NBA.
Andrew Wiggins delivered 16 buckets, while Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 14. The Warriors bench was not up to the task in this match, as seven players combined for just 20 points. Compared to Nuggets’ five non-starters who had 41 points, that is way too low.
What was also a problem for the Warriors was preventing Denver from scoring from inside the paint, 54-40. Wiseman is very gifted and talented, but he can’t properly guard experienced and, more importantly, stronger centers at the moment.
The Warriors are 6-6 after this match. Instead of meeting the Phoenix Suns already tonight, they will move on to LA because the game in Glendale has been postponed due to COVID-19 complications. Steve Kerr’s side clashes with the Lakers on Monday.
As for the Nuggets, they need someone besides Jokic to step up, and they need it quickly. The competition for the playoffs in the West is ferocious, meaning that every win matters, even though it is still early on in the season. Their upcomng two games are in Denver, the first one vs. Utah Jazz, and the second against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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.