Jokic’s Near Triple-Double Leads Nuggets To Victory Over Pacers

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets, NBA News
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Nikola Jokic nearly achieved his 13th triple-double of the NBA season, contributing 25 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 117-109 win over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.

Jokic was supported by Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray, who each scored 25 points, aiding the Nuggets in achieving a season-high field goal percentage of 64.8%. Aaron Gordon also played a key role, adding 20 points and 10 rebounds. This victory marked Denver’s impressive 17-4 home record this season.

Jokic’s remarkable efficiency was on display as he made 12-13 field-goal attempts, maintaining an 81% shooting accuracy over the last nine games.

Despite a less-than-perfect performance, characterized by 21 turnovers and 14 offensive rebounds allowed to the Pacers, the Nuggets managed to secure the win. It was their 14th victory in the last 18 games.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers Updates

Porter commented on the team’s current standing and the challenges of adapting to a new bench lineup following their championship win and a shortened offseason. The team is optimistic, focusing on health and maintaining a strong position in the league.

“I think we’re in a good spot,” Porter said. “We’re about what you can expect with a vastly different bench lineup than last year coming off a championship and a short summer. Obviously, we’d love to be No. 1 in the west, but we’re a couple of games behind it. We’re feeling good. Guys are healthy. That’s all you can ask for.”

The Pacers, who had been on a winning streak with nine victories in their previous 11 games, faced a setback with the loss of Tyrese Haliburton due to injury. They struggled against the Nuggets, scoring significantly below their season average and were limited in fast-break points, a strong aspect of their game.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers Updates

Jamal Murray highlighted the Nuggets’ strategy to counter the Pacers’ fast-paced play, emphasizing defense and transition.

“It was just a point of emphasis to get back,” Murray said. “We knew that’s what they do and they do it really well and they’ve been doing it all season.”

The game saw a turn in the third quarter when the Nuggets, initially trailing, gained a nine-point lead following a basket by Christian Braun.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers Updates

Bruce Brown, returning to Denver where he was pivotal in the Nuggets’ championship run, led the Pacers with 18 points. He received a warm reception from the crowd and his former teammates, acknowledging his contribution to the team’s success.

“It was more than I expected,” Brown said. “I didn’t know the crowd was going to cheer like that. I almost started crying, but I had to hold it in because I told one of the fans I wasn’t going to cry, so it was tough. I loved it, though.”

The Pacers saw balanced scoring from their lineup, with six players reaching double figures, including Buddy Hield’s 16 points. They were missing the contributions of Aaron Nesmith, a key 3-point shooter. Pacers coach Rick Carlisle acknowledged the challenge posed by Jokic and Murray’s exceptional performances.

“I thought we fought hard in this game,” Carlisle said. “There were some frustrating parts of it. A lot of this came down to Jokic’s greatness and Murray’s greatness.”

Looking ahead, the Pacers will face Utah on Monday night, while the Nuggets will play against Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

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