The Denver Nuggets (14-9) take home a loss from the Big Easy, 121-106. The New Orleans Pelicans (15-8) won this game behind Jose Alvarado and Zion Williamson, Alvarado finished tonight with a new career-high in points. Jose had 38 points and shot 8/11 on three-pointers while scoring 19 points in the first half. The Nuggets were unable to capitalize on a fantastic outing from Nikola Jokić either, he finished with 32 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals.

The Nuggets were in control for the first half, Denver just fell apart at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th quarters. Jokić led the Nuggets to a 14-point lead early in the first quarter, they never led by that much ever again. Denver was outscored 62-46 in the second half. Alvarado single-handedly outscored Denver’s bench by 20 points, they were outscored 62-18 in general by the Pelicans bench. Zion Williamson also finished with 25 points and 6 rebounds. With this win, New Orleans is now in sole possession of the 2nd seed in the Western Conference.

First Quarter:

Both teams fail to score their first time down the court, Jonas Valanciunas opens things with an inside layup. Bruce Brown gets the Nuggets their first points of the evening off of a three-pointer, Jamal Murray follows suit after. Denver forces a Pelicans timeout behind an Aaron Gordon layup, jumping out to an 8-2 lead. Nikola Jokić scores his first points of the game on a post-up, Denver started the game playing at an elite level on offense. Valanciunas came out firing, scoring 8 of the Pelicans first 16 points. Nikola Jokić however jumped out with 11 of his own points, all except for one and-1 were on Valanciunas.

The Nuggets led by as many as 14 points in the first quarter. Nikola Jokić checks out with 13 points. Jose Alvarado enters the game for New Orleans and scores 8 points in just about 2 minutes. Zion Williamson gets an and-1, and Denver gives up an 8-1 run with Jokić out of the game to close the first. 31-27, Denver is up by 4 after one.

Second Quarter:

Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon check back into the game after a rough ending to the last quarter. Davonte Graham makes a three, Jose Alvarado hits one of his own, and Graham makes another three on 3 straight possessions. Denver calls timeout after now being down 34-36. Now with Jokić out of the game, Denver has given up a 17-4 run to the Pelicans. DeAndre Jordan checks out for Nikola Jokić, Jordan was the only bench player to score until Ish Smith got a three-pointer to go. Jeff Green was given a Technical foul while being in street clothes on the bench, he was arguing a Jamal Murray out-of-bounds call.

Jokić comes back in and picks it back up exactly where he left off, immediately after entering the game he gets a bucket to go over Valanciunas in the paint. He continues to score and the Nuggets maintain the lead since they got it back at the 7:22 mark of the quarter, Denver loses the lead for a moment in the last seconds of the half but they go into halftime leading by 1. 60-59 at the break.

Third Quarter:

Jokić scores on back-to-back possessions and draws an offensive foul on Valanciunas, his 4th of the game now. He follows up by stepping into a three-pointer and getting it to go. Jokić continues to go at Valanciunas, giving him his 5th foul before 10 minutes to go in the quarter. The Joker scored the Nuggets first 9 points after halftime.

The Pelicans go on a 19-4 run and take back the lead for the first time this half. Trey Murphy III throws down 2 powerful dunks on back-to-back possessions after Cancar let Murphy III get past him. The Nuggets fell apart to end the quarter, they gave up 7 turnovers to the Pelicans 1 this quarter. Coach Malone calls a timeout after the Nuggets drop to being down by 10 points. Jokić checks out with 46 seconds left while being down by 8. Nuggets are down 87-81 to start the final quarter.

Fourth Quarter:

Aaron Gordon gets a tough finish inside to go to open things for the Nuggets. Jose Alvarado hits a three, he follows that up by drawing a foul on a three-pointer and making all his free throws. Alvarado set a new career-high in points with those free throws.

The Nuggets give up a 9-2 run to open up the 4th. The Pelicans go up by as many as 13, their largest lead of the game. The Nuggets both struggled to score and struggled to defend in the 4th quarter. Denver never gave up, even while they were down by 14 with 4:30 left to play, they were running plays up until the end. Coach Malone gets a pair of Technical fouls and is tossed from the game with only 2 minutes to go, the Nuggets down by 18. The Nuggets drop this game to the Pelicans on the road, 121-106.

What’s Next? 

The Denver Nuggets will take on the Luka Doncic-led Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, December 6th. The game is at 8:00 pm MST and is at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.