When Nikola Jokic turns into an assassin, not even rudimentary offense can stop the Nuggets.
Jokic scored 17 fourth-quarter points, including one stunning, rim-rattling jam, to lead the Nuggets over the Bulls, 118-112, on Monday night. The win Cheap Gary Harris Jersey nudged Denver to 19-15 on the season ahead of Tuesday’s matchup in Milwaukee. It was Denver’s eighth Cheap Jamal Murray Jersey consecutive win over the Bulls, who were led by 23 points from Zach LaVine.
“It just defines his greatness,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “… Him welcoming that fourth-quarter responsibility to close Stitched Denver Nuggets Jerseys a team out speaks to his greatness. Simply stated.”
Jokic finished with 39 points, though his interior Cheap Nikola Jokic Jersey dominance was far from complicated. In the fourth quarter in particular, the Nuggets fed their Serbian superstar, who routinely and consistently finished over numerous defenders.
“We just kept running the same play, honestly,” said Jamal Murray. “I ain’t going to lie to you. We ran the same play Cheap Monte Morris Jersey over and over. And he was just scoring every time. There was no need to change anything. … I was trying to tell them. I was trying to tell Zach, ‘You need some help, you need some help.’ He said, ‘I’m not leaving you, Jamal.’”
Jokic flirted with his ninth triple-double of the season, but finished an assist shy in lieu of his scoring eruption.
“We were sloppy,” he said of his fourth-quarter Cheap Michael Porter Jr. Jersey mentality. “I just wanted to be aggressive, just to change the rhythm.”
Murray registered 24 points for his 10th consecutive game of at least 20+ points, and Michael Porter Jr. added 17 points and 15 rebounds. It was Porter’s fourth consecutive double-double.
But none of those supplementary Cheap Paul Millsap Jersey performances would’ve mattered without Jokic’s jaw-dropping takeover.
The Nuggets’ offense deteriorated in the third quarter, not unlike several other games. Behind seven turnovers and clunky, stop-and-start offense, the Bulls chiseled a seven-point halftime deficit to Cheap PJ Dozier Jersey two heading into the fourth. Denver fell into a momentary lull not even Jokic could drag his team out of.
Owing to a decimated rotation, the Nuggets relied heavily on reserves Vlatko Cancar, PJ Dozier and Zeke Nnaji. Malone said before the game he didn’t expect Gary Harris (adductor), Paul Millsap (knee) or JaMychal Green (shoulder) back until after the break.
Denver has two games left before getting their first extended rest in months.
Monday marked the first time old Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas faced his former team.
“I obviously have a very close relationship Cheap Vlatko Cancar Jersey and I follow them, but today’s a game the Chicago Bulls have to go after and try to win,” Karnisovas joked on a pre-game news conference.
Before the game, Karnisovas caught up with everyone from Nuggets president Tim Connelly, to Malone to Jokic.
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“I miss him,” Malone said. “… Miss seeing Arturas on a daily basis. It’s hard to make imprint changes in your first year. I think Arturas probably came in here, hired a hell of a coach in Billy Donovan, hired his Cheap R.J. Hampton Jersey own staff, trying to take stock of, ‘OK, let me get my hands on what we have here. Let me get a feel for who we have, what we’re about.’ And then I think, slowly but surely, he’ll start making those Cheap Zeke Nnaji Jersey changes that will be visible from those who know him well.”
Denver’s first-half offense hummed, just as it did in Saturday’s convincing win at Oklahoma City. Between Jokic, Murray and Porter, the Nuggets’ Big 3 combined for 43 points on only eight missed shots in the first half. Together, they built a 62-55 lead going into the break.
Murray and Porter both caught a rhythm from beyond the arc, while Jokic muscled his way deep into the post against Chicago’s Cheap Michael Porter Jersey Wendell Carter Jr. Frustrated with several no-calls, Jokic actively went at Carter to eventually initiate contact.
With a heavy emphasis on limiting LaVine, Murray and Dozier alternated between checking Chicago’s All-Star, holding him to just 12 points in the first half.