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Highlights: Jokic counters every Celtics move as Denver pulls away late to clinch a playoff spot

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The Joker came up big every time it mattered

Denver Nuggets v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Some days Nikola Jokic is a flashy player. No-look passes, full-court dimes, behind-the-back dribbles. Some days he just goes to work. This was a blue-collar day for the most part, but what a game he built. He put in three shots from behind the arc, every one of them a dagger. He stuffed the Celtics on multiple occasions as Boston’s announcers described their plan as, “Go at Jokic.” Denver’s Serbian All-Star had some sweet dishes too, and cleaned the glass to help the Nuggets obliterate the Celtics on the glass 51-37.

The Joker had 21 points on 14 shots, with 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks and a pair of steals. It wasn’t really an unusual game for Jokic, but on a night where Boston gave Isaiah Thomas a tribute video for his work as a leader, a talent and an incredibly gutty person in his time there it was nice to see Jokic grind away at the Celtics and lead Denver to the sweep.

Some days there’s flash. Other days it’s just Standard Jokic - but that standard is very high, and he brought it when it mattered tonight. Down the stretch all these games will matter for playoff seeding. Denver is playing a ton of playoff-caliber teams. But as long as Jokic brings this contribution to these games, the Nuggets are in very good shape indeed.