NBA: Jokic Posts 22nd Triple-Double Of Season in Nuggets Win

Michael Porter Jr. came up big for the Nuggets on Thursday, dropping 31 points on an incredible 13-16 from the floor. Nikola Jokic had another stellar outing, notching his 22nd triple-double of the season with 30 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. In the end, Denver won rather easily, holding off a late run by the New York Knicks, 113-100.

The reigning NBA champions have been on fire since the All-Star break, winning 13 of their last 15 games. They are now in first position in the Western Conference, half a game up on the OKC Thunder. 

Jamal Murray was able to score 23 points but limped off the floor late in the game after hurting his ankle. There has been no information given about the seriousness of the injury.

The Nuggets seemed highly focused for the game after their 38-point loss to the Knicks on Jan 25 at Madison Square Garden. It was Denver’s most lopsided loss of the season.

For the Knicks, Jalen Brunson scored 26 points and Isaiah Hartenstein chipped in with 20. The Knicks were on a four-game winning streak and have been playing some of their best basketball of the year as of late. The big bright spot for the team came from its bench who outscored Denver’s bench by a margin of 30-13.

Denver held a five point lead going into half time and Jokic nearly had a triple-double with 16 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. They were then able to extend their lead in the third and go into the final frame up 12. To the Knicks credit, they were able to make a big run and cut the lead to just 2 with 8:19 remaining. At that point the Nuggets put their starting five back in to put a halt on the comeback.

The Knicks were without a number of key players, including OG Anunoby who was out with a bad elbow and Julius Randle who injured his right shoulder a couple weeks ago. Anunoby remains day-to-day but it seems Randle could be out for another month or so. 

Up next for the Knicks will be Brooklyn on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. The Nuggets will continue their road trip, visiting Portland on Saturday.

Luka Doncic Lead Dallas Past Utah, 113-97

Luka Doncic was at it again on Thursday, filling up the stat sheets with 34 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Utah Jazz 113-97. The Mavs moved into the sixth seed in the West which would guarantee them a playoff position if they can hold on to it. 

Dallas has been coming good in the back end of the season with their third straight victory and seventh in eight games. They are just a half-game ahead of Sacramento and Phoenix though, so they will need to keep it up if they want a guaranteed playoff spot.

Daniel Gafford had a very efficient night, adding 24 points on just 11 attempts. He leads the NBA in field goal percentage this season, shooting 70.8%. Kyrie Irving had an ordinary game based on his normal standards with 16 points, 11 of which were in the second half.

Lauri Markkanen led Jazz in scoring with 21 points. He was back after missing seven games due to an injury in his quadriceps. Collin Sexton had a good game for Utah off the bench, scoring 20 to have his sixth straight game of at least 20 points.

Dallas cut open the game in the second quarter when they outscored the Jazz 27-15. From there they were able to hold off all major runs by Utah to keep their lead throughout the game.  

The Jazz were without one of their main offensive threats in Jordan Clarkson. He had to sit out his fifth straight game because of a groin injury. 

Utah has a road game next against Houston on Saturday night. The Mavericks get some needed rest and will begin a five-game road trip Monday in Utah.