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Recap: Nuggets win a nail-biter 138-130 as Jokic drops a 46 point triple-double

The MVP Nikola Jokic appeared to single handedly will the Nuggets to victory tonight

New Orleans Pelicans v Denver Nuggets Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets seemed to be in deep trouble in the second half, but the MVP came to the rescue again. His 46 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists helped the Nuggets defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 138-130. There have been three 40+ point triple-doubles in the NBA this season, and Nikola Jokic has two of them. He scored 23 points in the final seven minutes of regulation and dropped 30 points in the 4th quarter and overtime combined. He shot 10/11 from the field during those two quarters, and he also secured his 17th triple-double of the season which is a franchise record.

The Pelicans were one of the hottest teams in the league coming into tonight’s contest, but the Nuggets snapped their four-game winning streak and continued their scorching hot play. Denver has now won eight of their last nine, and they are 12 games above .500 for the first time this season. Tonight may have been one of the more exciting wins of the season, but the Nuggets will have to focus on what is to come because, including tonight, they will play four games in five nights. Their next task comes tomorrow at home against the Warriors at 7:00 PM MT.

1st Quarter

  • The Nuggets got out to an early 5-2 lead with a Jokic mid-range jumper and a Barton triple. CJ McCollum would then tie it up at 7 with a three of his own
  • After a missed Ingram floater, Jokic found Barton for a three in transition. McCollum responded with a floater, but Jokic answered with a three to give Denver the 13-9 lead
  • Monte Morris forced a New Orleans timeout with a layup on the fast break. Denver’s defense looked active early as they created four turnovers and converted eight points in transition
  • Jeff Green and Jokic worked together for a beautiful pick and roll resulting in an emphatic one-handed jam from Uncle Jeff. After a technical free throw from Joker and one free throw from Gordon, the Nuggets held a 19-9 advantage
  • Monte Morris knocked in a mid-range jumper, expanding an 11-0 scoring run for the Nuggets. Valanciunas ended the run with a mid-range jumper, but Jokic countered by finding Gordon for an open reverse layup
  • Monte hit his first triple of the game which gave the Nuggets a 13 point lead at that point. After Gordon’s great isolation defense on Ingram, he took it to the rim for a soft left-handed layup, and Jokic did the same with a floater on the next possession
  • The Nuggets went on a 20-4 run for the majority of the quarter which facilitated their 30-13 advantage. Forbes and Hyland extended that run by combining for two consecutive made baskets. Denver shot 70% in the first while they held the Pelicans to 38%

Score: 35-19 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Jokic - 8, McCollum - 7

2nd Quarter

  • Devonte’ Graham opened the quarter with a three and McCollum followed with a three-point play. That helped the Pelicans obtain a 12-1 scoring run and although Forbes responded with two free throws, Naji Marshall's layup forced a Michael Malone timeout and brought the Pelicans within ten, 37-27
  • Bones Hyland swished home his first three of the game, and the next possession, JaMychal Green leaped high into the air to grab an offensive rebound and put it back with a layup. A couple of possessions later, JaMychal slammed home a dunk off a Bones assist
  • The Bones Hyland and JaMychal Green chemistry was on display in the second. He found Green again for a dunk off a one-handed, no-look pass. JaMychal scored the last six points for Denver as they grabbed a 46-31 lead
  • After a Pelican’s timeout, Bones knocked in a pull-up three from the wing. McCollum responded again with a floater, and Valanciunas followed with a turnaround mid-range jumper
  • Ingram then scored his first basket of the game via the mid-range, but Gordon quickly responded with an offensive rebound resulting in an and-one layup. Jose Alvarado and Brandon Ingram then sank two consecutive threes to diminish the lead 52-43
  • After a Jokic finger roll, Ingram capitalized with another mid-range jumper as the Pelicans held a 14-5 scoring run. Alvarado then extended the run with another three
  • Morris and Valanciunas matched two-point baskets, and then Ingram scored four consecutive points. Jokic then countered by knocking down a three and Jeff Green sank two free throws, but Ingram converted a prayer three-point attempt at the buzzer

Score: 62-57 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: McCollum- 15, Jokic - 14

3rd Quarter

  • Will Barton assisted a Gordon layup to open the scoring for Denver. The Nuggets forced four straight missed New Orleans shots and two turnovers as Monte swished a floater to regain a nine-point lead
  • Ingram’s mid-range shot gave the Pelicans their first points of the quarter, but Gordon answered with an and-one layup. Valanciunas dropped in a floater at the other end, and Ingram followed with another mid-range jumper
  • McCollum then hit an 8-foot floater and Valanciunas sank a three to get the Pelicans within three at 71-68. Jones and Ingram combined for two straight baskets which gave the Pelicans their first lead of the game. Gordon then rocked the rim with a two-handed slam on the following possession
  • Valanciunas and Uncle Jeff traded baskets as Denver regained the lead at 75-74. JaMychal Green then found Gordon for another emphatic jam, but Ingram quickly found the free-throw line and knocked in both
  • Gordon continued his aggressive play by getting to the line and converting two free throws. Ingram matched it with two more free throws, and Hernangomez then dropped in an and-one layup to tie it up at 80 apiece
  • JaMychal Green dunked home a missed Forbes three, but the Pelicans would answer with a Tony Snell triple. Aaron Gordon then sank two free throws, but Ingram countered with a three to give the Pelicans an 88-84 lead
  • After a Gordon travel call, Malone got ejected with his second technical of the game. Another Nuggets technical would help the Pelicans gain a 91-84 advantage, and Graham stretched the lead with a corner three

Score: 94-84 Pelicans

Scoring leaders: Ingram - 31, Gordon - 21

4th Quarter

  • Bryn Forbes hit a three off great ball movement from Denver, and then Bones drew a foul in transition for two free throws which brought the Nuggets within five. After two McCollum free throws, the Nuggets committed another technical which expanded the Pelican lead to 97-89
  • Hernangomez and Barton traded buckets, and after a turnover, Barton landed awkwardly on his ankle during a layup attempt and did not return
  • Jokic and Gordon combined for three points to get Denver within six, but then Graham knocked in a three in transition to put the score at 104-95. After a Nugget timeout, JaMychal hit two free throws, but the Pelicans answered with an open Jaxson Hayes dunk
  • Jokic and Valanciunas traded mid-range jumpers, then Jokic followed with a driving layup. Gordon then sank two free throws, but the Pelicans answered again with an Ingram deep two which expanded their lead to 110-103
  • Valanciunas and Jokic both scored on driving layups, and after two missed Gordon free throws, Jones sank a three to increase their lead to ten
  • Jokic found Gordon for a two-handed slam, but once again the Pelicans answered with a three. Following a Denver timeout, Jokic scored an and-one layup and sank two free throws on the next possession which brought Denver within six at 118-112
  • After forcing a Pelican’s turnover, Jokic continued his aggressiveness by dropping in a floater. Valanciunas responded by grabbing an offensive rebound and putting it back for two, but Jokic would return to the free-throw line for two free throws
  • Ingram knocked in a contested mid-range jumper and Monte followed with a driving layup. After a Jokic block, he got fouled and converted two more free throws to bring Denver within two at 122-120
  • After Hernangomez drew a Jokic offensive foul, the free throw game ensued. Ingram and Graham both missed one of two free throws, and Jokic converted a dunk to put the score at 124-122.
  • With three seconds left, Jokic knocked in two free throws to tie the game at 124 which sent the game into overtime

Score: 124-124

Scoring leaders: Jokic - 39, Ingram - 36

Overtime

  • Jokic opened the final quarter with a beautiful spinning post move that resulted in a made layup. CJ McCollum answered with a mid-range jumper and Ingram followed with another mid-range opportunity
  • Herbert Jones then stole Denver’s inbound pass and scored a transition layup which gave the Pelicans a 130-126 lead
  • Jokic assisted a Monte Morris three and on the next Denver possession, Gordon corralled an offensive rebound and put it back as Denver gained the 131-130 advantage
  • Following an Ingram offensive foul, Jokic ignited the crowd by swishing a three as the shot clock wound down. Jokic then added to his great performance by hitting a mid-range jumper and the dagger as the Nuggets increased their lead to 136-130

Score: 138-130 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Jokic - 46, Ingram - 38

Stat leaders

Points: Jokic - 46

Rebounds: Valanciunas - 14

Assists: Jokic - 11

Silent hero of the game: Aaron Gordon - 28 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal on 9-17 shooting