For the first time since the trade went down last February, Nikola Jokic outperformed former teammate Jusuf Nurkic in a head-to-head match up. And it was in a big, big way.
If Jusuf Nurkic were a Christmas tree, you could say Nikola Jokic lit him up last night by dropping 27 points, dishing out six assists and grabbing nine rebounds in the process. He drained a couple of threes, hit long twos right in Nurkic’s face, and completely outplayed him in the paint. Jokic put the star on top of the three in the second quarter when he drove past C.J. McCollum and Nurkic (who flopped from a loose Jokic elbow) and dunked (!!!) mercilessly right over the Bosnian.
Nurkic, on the other hand, was a dud - just 10 points, one rebound and a -28 - gifting Trail Blazer fans the equivalent of a lump of coal in their stocking with his performance.
Jokic’s aggressiveness paid off as Denver won in Portland for the first time since 2013, snapping a nine game losing streak at the Moda Center and tying the season series. The Nuggets have two games remaining against the Trail Blazers on January 22 and April 9. Both games will be in Denver.
Relive Jokic’s big night by checking out the highlights below!