Denver Nuggets center, Nikola Jokic, hit a game winner on Friday to lift the Nugs 100-97 over the Philadelphia 76ers and complete a 21-point comeback in the fourth quarter. On Sunday evening, Jokic knocked down a fadeaway jumper in overtime to secure a 100-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Two games, two game-winning buckets. Cue the Vulfpeck.
The Nuggets improved to 7-2 with a 4-1 away record, and a 3-1 home record. The Los Angeles Lakers also have a 7-2 record, so the Nugs are tied with LeBron James and the Lakers for best record in the Western Conference. The Boston Celtics boast the best record in the NBA at 7-1.
Jokic is only averaging 16.7 points per game this season, which is down from last season’s career-high of 20.1 points per game. Despite the slow start, Jokic also averages 9.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists this season.
Friday: Sixers Comeback
Two of the top centers in the NBA clashed on Friday night, with Philly’s Joel Embiid going head-to-head against Jokic. Embiid posted 19 points and 15 rebounds in the loss for the visiting Sixers, and the best starting five in the NBA.
The Nuggets rallied from 21 points down against Embiid and the Sixers to pull off the franchise’s greatest comeback in team history.
“Says a lot about this team, the heart,” said veteran forward Paul Millsap. “We want to have the heart of a champion. That’s what champions do, they continue to fight. We were able to get some stops.”
Jokic dropped 16 points in the fourth quarter against the Sixers, including the game winner. He’d finish with 26 points overall.
That's what you do when you're the BEST CENTER IN THE LEAGUE!!! pic.twitter.com/xX3HLsqdt7
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) November 9, 2019
Jamal Murray scored 22 points for the Nugs, and swingman Willie Barton added 20 points, including two big free throws to seal the victory.
Sunday: Overtime vs. KAT
On Sunday, the Nuggets hit the road to play the Minnesota Timberwolves and their superstar Karl-Anthony Towns. All five Denver starters scored in double digits. Jokic led the way with 20 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
Andrew Wiggins and Towns both scored 25 points for the Timberwolves. Towns struggled with his perimeter shooting, missing 11 three-pointers in 14 attempts. Wiggins also had a bad night, missing five treys. Wiggins and Towns combined for a paltry 4-for-20 shooting from downtown.
It was Denver’s turn to go cold in the fourth quarter. The Nuggets went scoreless for 6:41 to end the fourth quarter, and squandered a 90-74 lead. The Timberwolves went on a 16-0 run to close the gap and force the game into overtime.
The Nuggets woke up in overtime and scored 10 points, including another fadeaway game winner from Jokic to secure a 100-98 victory in Minnesota.
“Nikola makes another improbable shot,” said Denver head coach Mike Malone. He just adds to the legend of Nikola Jokic.”
“At this point, you just sit back and watch it,” said Millsap. “I believe in the shots he’s making, and in those situations we’ve just got to give it to him.”
With the victory, Denver’s winning streak extended to four games.
NIKOLA DOES IT AGAIN!!!
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) November 10, 2019
According to William Hill, the Denver Nuggets are 20/1 odds to win the 2020 NBA Championship