The Denver Nuggets come out on top versus the Washington Wizards 127-109. Nikola Jokić led the way for the Nuggets, he finished with 29 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists, all while sitting for the whole 4th quarter. Bones Hyland had 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists off the bench. Boogie also put up 14 off the bench. The Nuggets had 7 players finish in double-digit scoring numbers. The Wizards struggled to shoot from behind the 3 point line, shooting 22% (5-23) as a team. Their leading scorer was Deni Avdija who only had 16.

With a win tonight the Nuggets put themselves .5 games back from the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz, who are tied for the 4th seed. Both the Jazz and Mavericks play tonight, Jazz Vs Bulls and Mavs Vs Nets. The Minnesota Timberwolves, who are the 7th seed, also play tonight. The 4th seed is still very much in reach for Denver.

First Quarter:

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope opens up the game by drawing a foul and splits the free-throws after, Will Barton drives the other way and banks in a tough mid-range shot to open things off for the Nuggets. Nikola Jokić and Kristaps Porzingis went at each other a lot during the first quarter, but, Jokić was able to use his size to his advantage and limited Porzingis’s effectiveness early on. Porzingis shot 0-4 in the first quarter and had a shot blocked by Jokić. The Nuggets offense was flowing early and took a 16-8 lead. The Wizards called timeout and went on a 7-2 run after.

Jokić was able to get the Wizards backup center, Daniel Gafford, to pick up 2 early fouls. As a result, Coach Wes Unseld Jr. has to go deep into the bench for Thomas Bryant. Bones Hyland and JaMychal Green entered the game and the Nuggets lead jumped to 11. Jokić ends the first quarter off with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists in only 10 minutes. DeMarcus Cousins entered the game and scored on a post-up as well as provided a handful of screen assists. 34-28 Nuggets up at the end of the first quarter.

Second Quarter:

Bryn Forbes gets fouled on a three-pointer and makes the shot as well as the free-throw. After providing a screen assist on Forbes’s 4-pointer, Boogie goes down the court and hits a 3 and then blows past Porzingis for a layup. Nuggets lead balloons to 19 on the back of a 16-3 run. The Wizards were really struggling from 3, they started off shooting 2-11 (18%). Even while being up 16 points Michael Malone calls a timeout after KCP gets a wide-open 3, showing that Coach Malone won’t let the Nuggets let up.

Nikola Jokić checks in after getting a long rest, it’s refreshing that the Nuggets didn’t need Jokić to do absolutely everything tonight. Austin Rivers had 10 points in the first half while also shooting 3-4, everyone had it going. The Wizards go on an 8-2 run but the Nuggets still end the first half up by 21. The Wizards just have nothing they can do against Jokić. 71-52 at halftime, Nuggets up.

Third Quarter:

Both teams start off slower than the previous quarters but Jokić eventually picks it up and hits a three as well as a few easy close shots. Nikola Jokić had scored or assisted on every Nuggets basket until the 7-minute mark in the 3rd. Despite Kristaps Porzingis scoring 9 points in the quarter, the Nuggets maintain a 26 point lead behind Nikola Jokić and Aaron Gordon.

Jokić checks out with 2:35 left, let’s hope the Nuggets don’t need his efforts for the rest of the game. Bones Hyland starts to get things going, he had 8 points in the 3rd quarter including a tough 3. Nuggets up 104-82 to start the 4th.

Fourth Quarter:

The Nuggets are 33-7 when leading entering the 4th quarter, the Wizards are 6-33 when trailing. Only Monte Morris and Will Barton of the Nuggets starters see any game time for the rest of the game. Aaron Gordon attempts to check into the game late but Coach Malone tells him to not seeing as the Nuggets are up by 17 with 2:30 to go in the fourth. Garbage time soon ensues.

What’s Next?

The Denver Nuggets will take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland on Friday the 18th. With no Jarret Allen, Evan Mobely should get the Jokić matchup, I am very excited for that game.