Pelicans vs Nuggets Recap: Jokic Makes True MVP Impact In Win

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

CJ McCollum and the New Orleans Pelicans (27-37) traveled to Ball Arena to take on Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets (38-26) in part of the NBA Sunday slate. The reigning NBA MVP led his team to an epic 138-130 OT win—requiring a major late-game comeback effort.

Nikola Jokic missed the Nuggets’ previous outing but a 31-point outing from DeMarcus Cousins was enough to get a win over the Houston Rockets. In his return to the lineup, Jokic recorded an incredible 46 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals, and four blocks. A staggering 30 of his points came in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Things were going quite well early on for the Denver Nuggets—jumping out to a 21-point lead in the first quarter. The Pelicans went to work rallying back over the next two quarters by outscoring Denver by a staggering 26 points over this stretch. New Orleans even managed to lead by as many as 11 points despite their early struggles.

It required a legitimate comeback for the Nuggets to be in a position to not only win this game but to even force overtime. They had almost won the game outright in regulation after making two free throws and stealing a pass by Herbert Jones—giving the Nuggets a go-ahead shot attempt from seven feet for Jeff Green.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Pelicans vs Nuggets Sunday: Lineups, Injury Reports & Broadcast Info

The New Orleans Pelicans hold legitimate playoff aspirations and currently find themselves in the final play-in spot in the Western Conference. There’s been increased optimism about Zion Williamson’s recovery from foot surgery, but it remains to be seen when he’ll be back in the lineup.

Things have been going quite well for the Pelicans since acquiring CJ McCollum from the Portland Trail Blazers at the NBA trade deadline. He’s provided a needed shot creation and playmaking presence in the backcourt—offering a major upgrade over the role previously filled by Devonte’ Graham.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Pelicans vs Nuggets Sunday: Lineups, Injury Reports & Broadcast Info

McCollum’s impact was on display, but it was Brandon Ingram who led the way for the New Orleans Pelicans with 38 points, five rebounds, and nine assists. However, McCollum still chipped in an impressive 24 points, five rebounds, and nine assists along with receiving 19 points and 14 rebounds from Jonas Valanciunas. They just didn’t have the reigning NBA MVP on their side.

On the season, Jokic was averaging 25.4 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 7.9 assists entering this game while carrying this Denver Nuggets team that has been without Jamal Murray all season and only had Michael Porter Jr. in the lineup for nine games so far.

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