BALANCE EFFORT. Nikola Jokic hits 25 points, grabs 12 rebounds, and issues nine assists to lead the Denver Nuggets’ 117-109 win against Indiana Pacers on Sunday (Monday in the Philippines, January 15). DENVER NUGGETS FACEBOOK PHOTO
Nikola Jokic led a balanced offensive effort that propelled the Denver Nuggets to a 117-109 victory against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday (Monday in the Philippines, January 15).
Jokic fell just one assist shy of securing his 13th triple-double of the season, finishing with 25 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists.
The Nuggets showcased their offensive prowess as Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray also contributed 25 points each.
The team collectively shot an impressive 64.8% from the field, with all five starters reaching double figures. Aaron Gordon added 20 points and 10 rebounds, highlighting Denver’s well-rounded performance.
Jokic’s exceptional shooting continued, making 12 of his 13 field-goal attempts and maintaining an astounding 81% shooting percentage over his past nine games.
The Nuggets’ offensive efficiency proved crucial in overcoming a subpar defensive performance, marked by a season-high 21 turnovers and allowing 14 offensive rebounds to the Pacers, leading to 20 second-chance points.
The victory marked Denver’s 14th in their last 18 games, showcasing the team’s resilience and adaptability. Despite some challenges, including turnovers and defensive lapses, the Nuggets maintained their composure and executed effectively on the offensive end.
Porter acknowledged the team’s overall performance, stating they are in a favorable position. He expressed satisfaction, noting that the players are in good health, which is all one can ask for. The Pacers, who had won nine of their past 11 games, faced a tougher challenge against the Nuggets. Missing star Tyrese Haliburton due to a strained left hamstring, Indiana struggled against Denver’s defense, scoring 17.6 points below their season average.
Additionally, the Nuggets limited the Pacers to only seven fast-break points, a significant drop from their season average of 17.2.
In his return to Denver, Bruce Brown, who played a crucial role in the Nuggets’ championship run last season, contributed 18 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists for the Pacers.
The emotional moment included Brown receiving his championship ring and being warmly welcomed by his former teammates and the crowd, which erupted into chants of his name.
Brown expressed that the reception exceeded his expectations. He was surprised by the enthusiastic cheers from the crowd and admitted that he nearly became emotional. Despite the emotional moment, he managed to hold back tears, as he had previously mentioned to a fan that he wouldn’t cry. Overall, he cherished the experience.
Despite Brown’s heartfelt return, the Pacers fell short in their efforts, with Buddy Hield leading the team with 16 points. The absence of forward Aaron Nesmith, known for his sharpshooting from beyond the arc, further challenged Indiana’s offensive capabilities.
Pacers coach Rick Carlisle acknowledged the brilliance of Jokic and Murray. The Nuggets’ dynamic duo, along with their supporting cast, propelled Denver to a noteworthy victory, reinforcing their position as a formidable force in the competitive Western Conference.