NBA regular season

Nikola Jokic’s triple-double sends Nuggets past Warriors

Nikola Jokic’s triple-double sends Nuggets past Warriors

TOP DOG. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic gestures during the first half against Klay Thompson and the Warriors.

John Hefti/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Days after getting embarrassed by the Jazz, reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets pounce on the defending champion Warriors

Nikola Jokic buried 26 points as part of a triple-double and the Denver Nuggets rebounded from an opening-game embarrassment with a 128-123 triumph over the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco on Friday night, October 21 (Saturday, October 22, Manila time).

Jokic also had game-highs with 12 rebounds and 10 assists, helping the Nuggets exact a measure of revenge over a Warriors team that eliminated Denver from the Western Conference playoffs in the first round last April.

Stephen Curry put up a game-high 34 points for the Warriors, who had beaten the Los Angeles Lakers on opening night before getting stunned by a 70-point Nuggets first half three nights later.

Eager to put the sting of a 123-102 opening loss to the Utah Jazz behind them, the Nuggets made 8 of their 14 three-point tries in the first half. Denver distanced itself early from the defending champs, leading by as many as 20 points and 70-52 at the break.

Golden State clawed back within 124-123 on a layup by Jordan Poole with 14.7 seconds remaining. However, Jokic’s 10th assist got Bruce Brown a layup 1.7 seconds later, and the Nuggets survived a missed three-point attempt by Klay Thompson with 9.3 seconds to go that could have tied it.

Jokic capped his big night and iced the win by sinking two free throws with 6.6 seconds left.

Starting in place of Jamal Murray, who was given the night off on the front half of a back-to-back, Brown contributed 20 points to the Denver win. Fellow starters Michael Porter Jr. (17), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (17), and Aaron Gordon (10) also scored in double figures, as did reserves Bones Hyland (14) and Jeff Green (10).

The Nuggets finished at 53.5% from the field and equaled the Warriors at their preferred three-point game, with each team making 15 despite Golden State taking 10 more attempts.

After a 1-for-5 first half from beyond the arc, Curry wound up 5-for-11 on three-point attempts to account for almost half his point total.

Andrew Wiggins chipped in with 23 points and a team-high 8 rebounds, while Thompson added 16 points. Draymond Green scored 13 to complement a team-high 9 assists, and James Wiseman added 11 points off the bench. –

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