Led by the Jokic-Murray duo, the Nuggets sank the Pelicans
With a good leg Brandon Ingram, New Orleans kept pace with Denver early in the game, and even took the lead on a long 3-point basket from CJ McCollum (15-12). After a great first quarter, the Pelicans took the lead (35-31) on Trey Murphy’s buzzer shot.
Well in the game, the Pelicans even got a twelve point advantage at the beginning of the second quarter (47-35). The Nuggets were in trouble, and as proof they only scored 39 points five minutes from halftime. But Denver doesn’t lead the Western Conference for nothing. Nikola Jokic’s teammates caught fire, especially behind the arc. The double MVP even offered a rare “move” that ended in a mistake at the end of the quarter. The kind of act that will loop this Wednesday. At the break, New Orleans was just three points ahead (60-57).
Denver started the third quarter in the best possible way with an 11-2 run to regain the lead (68-62). Carrying 13 points from Jamal Murray in this third part, the Nuggets even reached a 10-point advantage (92-82). Mike Malone’s men led 93-84 at the start of the 4th quarter.
With a more compact defense, the Pelicans signed an 8-0 run to get back within five points (103-98). The concern for them was that Nikola Jokic was playing fair, and his layup with Jamal Murray was enough to give the Nuggets a nine-point lead with two minutes left. It only remained for Jokic to finish at the free throw line to give the Nuggets the win (122-113).
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
– The Jokic-Murray duo in power. The main contributors to the Nuggets’ victory over the Pelicans, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray both put in an outstanding performance. The first was content to involve friends and then took matters into their own hands if necessary, to finish an XXL triple-double (26 points, 18 rebounds, 15 assists). All in 10 of 14 shots. The sophomore had the hot leg all night, with 32 points on 7/12 from 3-point range. Their complementarity on the ground has never been shown, and when they develop to this level, Denver will be difficult to accommodate.
– Nine straight losses for the Pelicans. Despite a good first half, New Orleans couldn’t handle Denver’s strength when coming back from the locker room. In the end, it was the 9th straight loss. A dark streak that began on the floor of the Cavaliers on January 16 during Martin Luther King Day. One can only hope that Zion Williamson’s comeback is over soon…
16. Sixteenth triple-double for Nikola Jokic this season, and 16th victory for the Nuggets! The Serb is only the 4th player in history to achieve 8 triple-doubles in the same month, and since that night, he has been in triple-doubles for the entire season: 25.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.0 assists on average!
✅ Aaron Gordon. A very solid game from him with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Was that enough to convince the coaches to send him to the All-Star Game?
✅ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. He once again confirmed that he is the best pick of the offseason on the Nuggets side with 15 points on 3/7 from 3-point range. His defensive impact doesn’t show up in the numbers, but it’s the link Denver is missing.
⛔️ Brandon Ingram. He still hasn’t recovered to his level since his return from injury. He comes out of this match with an ugly 5/17 in shooting.
Nuggets (35-16): Warriors reception Thursday through Friday (3H).
Pelicans (26-26): trip to Mavericks overnight from Thursday to Friday (2:30 am).