Nikola Jokic Leads Nuggets Over Luka Doncic’s Mavs

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

During the Wednesday night NBA slate, Jeff Green had 24 points, Nikola Jokic recorded his 21st triple-double of the season, and the Denver Nuggets enter the All-Star break with a 118-109 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Jokic led the Western Conference-leading Nuggets with 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists, moving them to 27-4 at home this season. Porter Jr. scored 22 points on five 3-pointers in a game that Jamal Murray was sidelined.

“For us to continue to find ways to win and have different guys step up every night, I think it speaks to our chemistry, our depth,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “We’ve got a really good team in there.”

Despite missing Kyrie Irving due to lower-back tightness, Luka Doncic led a banged-up Dallas team with 37 points. Since Irving was acquired from Brooklyn on Feb. 6, Doncic and Irving have played together in two games.

NBA SCORES & NEWS: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, Luka Doncic & Dallas Mavericks Updates

With 5:50 remaining in the fourth quarter, Christian Wood’s layup cut the Nuggets’ lead to 105-95. Following that, Porter blocked a shot at one end, ran back and struck a 3-pointer at the other. A 35-19 quarter by the Nuggets in the second quarter was what really got away from the Mavs, coach Jason Kidd admitted.

“You’re sitting in a good place against the best team in the West and so we have to look at doing a better job,” Kidd said.

Four games of the season series were split between the two teams. Although it should be noted that Jokic was sidelined for two of these games and the Mavericks didn’t have Irving for any of them. A potential future playoff matchup may not have too much to look back on as a result.

“When you have a guy like Jokic on your team, you’re the favorite,” Doncic said.

In the week leading up to the All-Star break, Jokic became part of an exclusive group by surpassing 500 assists and 500 rebounds. Another NBA player to achieve the feat was Russell Westbrook and Oscar Robertson.

NBA SCORES & NEWS: Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, Luka Doncic & Dallas Mavericks Updates

This season, Jokic, the two-time MVP, is on pace to average a triple-double, as he’s averaging 24.7 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 10.1 assists. He’s doing so while shooting 63.2 percent from the floor and 39.1 percent from 3-point range. He’s widely considered the favorite to win his third consecutive MVP, which would make him the first to do so since Larry Bird in the 1980s.

“He makes it look like a walk in the park,” recently acquired backup center Thomas Bryant said of Jokic’s ease with triple-doubles. “It’s not easy at all.”

A big night for Doncic marked his 65th game with at least 35 points in his career. LeBron James was the only person with more before his 24th birthday (87). February 28 will mark Doncic’s 24th birthday.

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