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Highlights: Nikola Jokic comes up just short of a triple double in a great win over the Thunder

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Despite Steven Adams’s best efforts

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Jokic had himself a game in Denver’s 109-98 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. He scored 24 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and notched 9 assists as he paced Denver’s fast start with his scoring and orchestrated their strong finish down the stretch after Mason Plumlee fouled out. The Nuggets struggled in the third quarter especially but righted the ship in time to pull out the victory.

These are the games that Denver needs from Jokic both now when they’re short-handed and in the future as they continue to run the Western Conference gauntlet, aka the NBA’s Hunger Games. He will need to be a scorer, a distributor, a rebounder, and oh yeah the unintimidated leader of this squad. Tonight he was all of that.

For good measure, Russell Westbrook shoved Jamal Murray at the end of the game, then had some choice words for Jokic himself as he came over to defend his point guard. I’m not sure if Westbrook knows that Nikola Jokic has mixed-martial-arts talent in his gigantically-sized family but my money would not be on Westbrook if he decided to tangle with Jokic. And this played out a little differently than Westbrook’s bully ball last year.

Regardless, on the court the Nuggets have brushed aside the Thunder a couple of times now this season, and Jokic is a huge reason why. Check out his night below!