Nikola Jokic swings across the late courts to seal victory for the Nuggets over the Warriors

Nikola Jokic swings across the late courts to seal victory for the Nuggets over the Warriors

San Francisco — Jordan Paul He put the Golden State Warriors on just one point 14 seconds before stealing the ball from a lazy Denver Nuggets pass and putting it back in.

But after only a split second, as the warriors were still in transition, Nikola Jokic He hit the ball with a cross pass – something Djokic admitted was a “danger” after the match.

It was one he was willing to take next Highland bones He flipped the ball, leading to Paul’s bucket, and Jokic saw nothing but a swarm of Warriors jerseys.

“My guys had to be open,” Jokic said.

So he threw the ball 85 feet wide to find it wide open Bruce Brown, who complete the play by dipping. That — and a pair of free throws a few seconds later — sealed the Nuggets’ 128-123 victory on Friday night.

Draymond Green He said the Warriors weren’t caught sleeping on the Jokic Pass, but that there was a break in communication. Normally, Warriors would want their heart to go back to the bottom of the other basket, but in this scenario the center was green, and it was trapped.

“It’s an unusual situation for our guards,” Green said. “The guards don’t protect the basket.” “That’s something I could have communicated. I should have told him that we should make sure a guy comes back, and that’s something we can learn from.”

Jokic finished the game with 26 points in 7 shots from 13, 12 rebounds and 10 assists – his 77th three-pointer career. Jokic now has the second most hat-trick by position in NBA history after only Wilt Chamberlain (78).

Jokic scored or assisted with Denver’s 50 points, but it was his passing that outpaced his other stats.

“Honestly, we have eight years together now and [nothing surprises me]Nuggets coach Michael Malone said: “There are a lot of big games, many moments where he plays big, right play and the kind of game-changing kind of play. … His IQ is off the charts. He plays chess out, and a lot of the other guys play checkers. “.

Against The Warriors, the Nuggets scored 24 of Jokic’s assists in 10 of 15, including 4 of 7 of 3. Three of his 10 passes came in transition, six of which led to an open appearance.

Five of his teammates scored his assists, and Kentavius ​​Caldwell’s Bob and Bruce Brown benefited the most.

Caldwell Pope hit 3 of Jokic’s 5 assists, while Brown went 4 of 4 including the win dunk.

Before the game, Mallon spoke about his team’s need to build chemistry as the Nuggets welcomed eight new players, including Caldwell-Pope and Brown, and reintegrated them. Jamal Murray And the Michael Porter Jr..

With that in mind, Malone was challenging Jokic to take his leadership to the next level not just by playing by example, but through voice and education.

Three or four times on Friday, Mallon said he saw Jokic holding the whiteboard during timeout to explain to his new and junior teammates where he wanted them in the plays.

“If you ask Bruce and Kenny Bob, they would probably be fans from afar of Jokic’s passing from playing against him. But it’s different from what you see now with him,” Malone said. “It makes the game very easy, but you have to be prepared.”

The Nuggets entered the break after scoring 70 points and soaring 18 over Golden State, but the Warriors’ patented rush in the third quarter to pair with a strong fourth put them within eight points with about five minutes left.

Stephen Curry He finished with 34 points out of 10 out of 22, while Andrew Wiggins He added 23 points and eight rebounds, and Draymond Green scored 13 points and nine assists.

But Denver outperformed the Warriors 9-4 in time to claim their victory.

“The second quarter was one of the best periods we’ve played in a long time against a good opponent,” Malone said. “But in the long run, there’s a lot of stuff we need to clean up. …but it’s a hell of a win. We can savor it for about two and a half hours on the plane, and then tomorrow night we have our home opener.”

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