By Adrian Stewart Co
Nikola Jokić heated up on offense as Denver Nuggets halted Utah Jazz’s winning run with a 128-117 beating in the 2020-2021 NBA Season on Sunday night (Monday in the Philippines) at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.
Jokić waxed hot in the opening half where he drained 33 points. The Serbian big man finished the match with career-high tying 47 points to go along with 11 rebounds and five assists.
Will Barton added 18 markers, Jamal Murray contributed 16, while Facundo Campazzo and Michael Porter Jr. each had 11 points as Denver moved up to 12-8.
It was a seesaw battle game early for both teams until Jokić heated up for the Nuggets with 11 consecutive points to settle for 43-29 lead after 12 minutes.
Barton, Murray and Porter continued the onslaught for Denver in the second period as the advantage went up to 79-54 and later to 88-61 early in the third quarter.
The Jazz, however, responded with a huge run as they trimmed the deficit to 91-103 but conversions from Campazzo, Porter and Jokić allowed Denver to build a 126-104 advantage late in the fourth.
Bojan Bogdanovic finished the match with 29 points, while Donovan Mitchell and Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson had 13 each as the 15-5 Jazz saw its 11-game winning run came to an end.
Meanwhile, the Utah defeat allowed Los Angeles Clippers to seize the first place in the Western Conference standings after improving to 16-5 with its 129-115 victory over New York Knicks (9-12).
Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers with 28 markers, while Reggie Jackson and Paul George came up with 18 and 17 markers, respectively, while Serge Ibaka and Patrick Patterson had 15 and 13.
DENVER 128 – Jokic 47, Barton 18, Murray 16, Campazzo 11, Porter 11, Millsap 10, Green 9, Morris 6, Harris 0, Hampton 0, Cancar 0, Nnaji 0, Bol 0, Howard 0.
UTAH 117 – Bogdanovic 29, Mitchell 13, Clarkson 13, Conley 12, Gobert 12, O’Neale 12, Ingles 10, Favors 7, Harrison 4, Oni 3, Niang 2, Brantley 0, Morgan 0.
Quarterscores: 43-29, 79-54, 103-91, 128-117./ASC, WDJ