The Nuggets, down to zero after a loss to Oklahoma City, traveled to New Orleans last night without Nikola Jokic to start a new winning streak. With the Serbian pivot in their ranks (but without Michael Porter Jr., hit by family drama), Denver had to fight until the last second to finally win on the wire thanks to a basket from Nikola Jokic (99-98). .
The Pelicans, who trailed by a lot on the scoreboard, including -12 in the 3rd quarter, were ambushed in the final quarter, especially with Jose Alvarado, who scored 12 of his 17 points in the 4th. It was he who reduced his team to -1 only in the last minute, on the contrary, the Nuggets spent four minutes without a basket!
But Jamal Murray didn’t panic, serving Nikola Jokic in the paint for the winning floater with 16 seconds left. Behind, the Pelicans had three chances to get back in front, but after a Bruce Brown counter on Herb Jones, they didn’t do much better than handing the last ball to an off-target CJ McCollum…he basically missed the mark!
That’s why New Orleans remains in its downward spiral, with the fifth-most infuriating setback since its spectacular comeback.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– The return of the boss. After losing to the wire against the Thunder, the Nuggets got their two-time MVP back tonight, as well as coach Mike Malone, from Covid isolation. The difference was clear, with a fresh triple-double from the staunch Joker, who went 11-of-15 shooting for 25 points, plus 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Not to spoil anything, it was Jokic who found the net with 16 seconds left on the clock with this traditional floater. “This is my favorite place, I am very comfortable to score there. But I’m just playing games. I’m glad I was able to find open teammates and hit the final shot. This is a big win. Individual awards are irrelevant. »
– A very short turnaround. Outscored 24-16 in the final quarter, the Pelicans managed a near-perfect stop at home after falling -19 early in the game. Under the leadership of Alvarado, but also the internal Euro, Jonas Valanciunas (14 points, 9 rebounds) and Willy Hernangomez (12 points, 6 rebounds) combined work well, NOLA has several match points. In this case, three is the last possession. But in vain…
✅ Nikola Jokic. After missing two games to rest his hamstrings, a minor injury, he returned to work and the center quietly explored another triple-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Even better, he returned the game-winning shot with 16 seconds left. Boss, what!
✅ Jamal Murray. The leader, who scored 16 points in the 2nd quarter alone, was in particularly good shape tonight in NOLA, after a timely interception followed by a dunk on a counterattack or a great alley-oop that KCP initiated. He finished with 25 points, 7 assists and 3 steals.
✅ Jose Alvarado. New York’s scoring leader with 12 points in the 4th quarter scapegoated Mike Malone, who had three layups to stop the bleeding. Leading his team’s turnaround, he was one of the few Pelicans to shine with 17 points and 3 assists.
⛔️ CJ McCollum. This is a total flop for CJ McCollum in this match! Not only did the former Blazers find himself on the ground after a blow to the ribs, and he tore himself up with 3 points: 0/8! As a bonus, he lost six balls and completely missed the winning shot after a gallant comeback by his troops.
Denver (34-14): summit trip to Milwaukee tonight.
New Orleans (26-22): Reception of wolves tonight.