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Recap: Monte Morris drains a three at the buzzer to defeat the Warriors 117-116

WHAT A WIN!

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/NBAE via Getty Images

Oh my goodness. After missing his last three games, Monte Morris sent the Warriors home with a buzzer-beater as the Nuggets hand them the 117-116 defeat. What a way to go into the All-Star break. The Nuggets now move to 2-0 against the Warriors this season and a win like this can evoke significant confidence down the stretch. The Nuggets did grab one lead the entire game until 15 seconds left in the 4th, and they ended the game on an 11-2 scoring run. The Warriors obtained a 16 point lead at one point, but the Nuggets remained resilient and clawed back with each answer from Golden State.

Nikola Jokic produced another MVP performance tonight and he got the win to put a full stamp on it. He scored 35 points, 17 rebounds, 8 assists on 13-24 shooting, and 3-5 from deep. The Nuggets bench played a huge factor in tonight’s win. They only outscored the Warrior bench by one, 42-41 but that tells you how much they needed that production in a one-point win. Bryn Forbes knocked in four threes en route to 22 points, Austin Rivers hit a couple of big threes late, and the Nuggets are now 8-0 when DeMarcus Cousins plays.

The Nuggets may have captured their most important and exciting win of the season so far, and they get some much-needed rest at the All-Star break. Their next game is against the Kings on the 24th as they prepare for a playoff run.

1st Quarter

  • The Nuggets started slowly through their first three possessions. They missed their first two shots along with a turnover resulting in a Wiggins three. Two Gary Payton III layups and five Klay Thomspn points forced a Denver timeout with the score 12-4. The Warriors began 4-6 shooting and 2-4 from three, while the Nuggets shot 2-5 and 0-2 from three
  • The Nugget defense forced three straight missed shots following the timeout, but they could only convert once via two Morris free throws. Kevon Looney then ended the streak with a layup, and Curry joined with his first three of the game for the 17-8 Warrior lead
  • Nikola Jokic responded with a three-point play and a layup to cut the lead to four. Jordan Poole added another triple for Golden State, but it was quickly answered by a corner Forbes three
  • After a Golden State timeout, Poole blew by Gordon for a floater. Jokic would convert another floater along with a tip shot on his next possessions to get Denver within four, 24-20.
  • Boogie Cousins sank a quick three as soon as he entered the game for Jokic when he seemed to twist his ankle. Kuminga then scored seven straight for the Warriors to increase their lead to eight

Score: 33-25 Warriors

Scoring leaders: Jokic - 11, Thompson/Kuminga - 7

2nd Quarter

  • Bryn Forbes knocked in his second corner three to open the scoring for Denver. Bones attacked the rack with a floater to get within four, but Curry countered with a floater of his own
  • Kuminga socred his second three combined with a Curry three-point play to escalate the Warrior lead to ten. JaMychal Green then hit a three from the wing, and Forbes added his third three of the contest, but the Warriors responded with four straight
  • Bones knocked in Denver’s 6th three to get within five, 46-41. Bjelica answered with a transition layup and Curry with a smooth driving layup. The Nuggets missed their next three shots until Forbes scored his 13th point with a floater
  • Andrew Wiggins hit a step-back jumper to increase their advantage to 54-43. Denver turned it over twice in three possessions while Wiggins helped balloon their lead to twelve with another mid-range jumper
  • Curry assisted an emphatic Payton III two-handed jam, but the Nuggets responded with a Joker layup plus a free throw off a Steve Kerr technical foul. After a timeout, Denver committed their 10th turnover which resulted in a Payton III layup
  • Uncle Jeff then converted a three-point play along with a Gordon tip-in to get within eight, 62-54. After two scoreless possessions by both teams, Looney ended the scoring in the half by converting one of two free throws

Score: 63-54 Warriors

Scoring leaders: Jokic - 16, Curry/Kuminga - 12

3rd Quarter

  • The Nuggets had 12 turnovers in the first half and they opened the 3rd with another one that turned into a Looney mid-range. Jokic continued his good play with a three and assisted Gordon for a two-handed jam
  • Golden State responded with four straight points as the Nuggets turned it over twice in three possessions. Jokic restored order with a finger roll, but they gave up a Payton III three at the other end, and a Curry layup to grow their advantage to 13
  • The Nuggets missed their next three shots and Thompson took advantage with a three. The following possessions, Morris added a floater, Jokic a three, and Gordon a driving layup to get within 11
  • Out of a timeout, Rivers forced a Warriors turnover resulting in two JaMychal free throws. Curry then quickly replied with a contested three and Poole a mid-range jumper.
  • Jokic assisted a Rivers driving layup and at the other end, Rivers forced another turnover that resulted in a Jokic floater. The next possession, Curry threw a bad pass out of bounds, but the Nuggets could not capitalize, gifting the Warriors a turnover for a Thompson transition layup
  • Forbes sank two free throws joined by a sweet euro-step layup by Rivers the next possession, but Bones bailed Golden State out by fouling a Thompson layup attempt as the buzzer sounded

Score: 86-78 Warriors

Scoring leaders: Jokic - 26, Curry - 18

4th Quarter

  • Jamychal Green introduced the quarter with a loud, one-handed put-back dunk, but was quickly countered with a Poole three. That forced a Nugget timeout and following the stoppage, Rivers nailed a three pulling them within six
  • Boogie forced a Warrior shot clock violation and at the other end, Forbes took advantage with a floater. Golden State then answered with a tough runner in the lane by Otto Porter Jr. and one Payton III free throw
  • Porter Jr. scored four in a row extending the Warrior lead to ten, 96-86. JaMychal Green subsequently knocked in two free throws followed by a Morris three
  • Jokic scored on a deep two that was inches away from a three. At the other end, Thompson undoubtedly placed his feet beyond the arc for his third three. Jokic then record his 5th assist with a lob for a Gordon dunk to put the score at 101-95
  • Forbes scored his 20th point with his 4th three, but it was again answered with two Golden State points at the other end. Both teams matched baskets in two straight possessions, so the Warriors maintained a seven-point lead
  • The Warriors sent Jokic to the line for his 3rd set of free throws in a row. He was only able to hit four of the six attempts, and it got worse with a Porter Jr. tip-in as Golden State grew their lead 111-103
  • The Nuggets played hack-a-Shaq on Kevon Looney which worked as he missed two free throws. Rivers responded with corner three, but the second hack-a-Shaq resulted in two made Looney free throws
  • Forbes hit a driving layup and the third hack-a-Looney worked with two missed free throws. The next possession, Jokic lobbed it up to Gordon for a dunk which brought the Nuggets within three, 103-100
  • Denver forced a miss Thompson three and Jokic converted a floater at the other end to get within one. After a Curry miss, the long shot bounced to half court landing in Monte’s hand for an easy layup that gave the Nuggets the one-point lead with 15 seconds left
  • Following a Warrior timeout, Curry knocked in a mid-range jumper plus the foul for a three-point play. Malone called a timeout to draw up an isolation opportunity for Jokic in the post. Once the defense collapsed, Jokic tossed it to Morris for the game-winning three as time expired

Score: 117-116 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Jokic - 35, Curry - 25

Stat leaders

Points: Jokic - 35

Rebounds: Jokic - 17

Assists: Jokic - 8

Silent hero of the game: Bryn Forbes - 22 points on 8-12 shooting and 4-7 from behind the arc