Jokic gets Nuggets back on the win column with a historic performance

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

The Denver Nuggets rallied past the Los Angeles Clippers, 103-100, on Sunday.

Nikola Jokic posted a 26-point, 22-rebound double-double alongside eight assists, two steals, and two blocks. The Serbian superstar became the first player landing at least 25 points, 20 rebounds, and five assists in consecutive games since Charles Barkley in 1988. Slovenian Vlatko Cancar contributed two points and five rebounds, while French Petr Cornelie stayed on the bench. For the hosts, Croatian Ivica Zubac put up a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double, Serge Ibaka had ten points, six rebounds, and three assists, and French Nicolas Batum tallied four points and three rebounds. German Isaiah Hartenstein missed his second straight 2021-22 Regular Season game with a sprained left ankle.

Finnish Lauri Markkanen dropped 20 points and also grabbed seven rebounds for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the lopsided win, 144-99, against the Toronto Raptors. Fellow starter, Spanish Ricky Rubio posted 16 points, six assists, three steals, and two rebounds. Turkish Cedi Osman was among the latest additions to the league’s health and safety protocols. As for the visitors, Ukrainian Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk tapped ten points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one rejection as a starter. British OG Anunoby due to a left hip pointer injury, Slovenian Goran Dragic not with the team, and German Isaac Bonga on the health and safety protocols were among the unavailable players.

French Theo Maledon scored a season-high 12 points plus five rebounds and two steals enjoying an upgraded role and helping the Oklahoma City Thunder take down the New Orleans Pelicans, 117-112. Serbian teammate Aleksej Pokusevski added two points. Czech Vit Krejci was facing a right ankle injury suffered in his latest G League assignment. On the opposite end, with Lithuanian Jonas Valanciunas remaining sidelined due to a non-COVID illness, Spanish Willy Hernangomez went for 14 points, six rebounds, and two assists. Czech Tomas Satoransky got two points, five rebounds, four assists, and one steal coming off the bench in the losing effort.

Montenegrin Nikola Vucevic posted a 16-point, 15-rebound double-double along with three assists, two steals, and two blocks as the Chicago Bulls prevailed, 113-105, versus the Indiana Pacers on Boxing Day. Compatriot Marko Simonovic did not play. On the opposite end, Lithuanian Domantas Sabonis made out a 14-point, 16-rebound double-double, dished out five assists, and added a couple of steals, while Georgian Goga Bitadze did not leave the bench.

Turkish Furkan Korkmaz chipped in 14 points, four rebounds, one assist, and one steal for the Philadelphia 76ers in the away win, 117-96, over the Washington Wizards. Latvian Davis Bertans connected four triples for 14 points, Israeli Deni Avdija had nine points, nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals, and French Joel Ayayi two points, one rebound, and one assist for the losing side.

French Killian Tillie registered four points and two rebounds in the 127-102 victory of the Memphis Grizzlies against the Sacramento Kings. Spanish Santi Aldama remained out with right ankle soreness and French Yves Pons was placed in the health and safety protocols. Both Ukrainian Alex Len and Portuguese Neemias Queta of the Kings were already in the health and safety protocols.

Austrian center Jakob Poeltl scored 14 points behind 7/8 two-pointers, and also recorded four rebounds, and two assists in only 15 minutes as the San Antonio Spurs rolled the struggling Detroit Pistons, 144-109. French Killian Hayes remaining in the health and safety protocols was among the multiple players sidelined for the losing side.

Earlier, the Miami Heat beat the Orlando Magic, 93-83, as Turkish Omer Yurtseven logged a 16-point, 15-rebound double-double in his first NBA start.

Sunday results:

Miami Heat – Orlando Magic 93-83
Cleveland Cavaliers – Toronto Raptors 144-99
Sacramento Kings – Memphis Grizzlies 102-127
Washington Wizards – Philadelphia 76ers 96-117
Oklahoma City Thunder – New Orleans Pelicans 117-112
San Antonio Spurs – Detroit Pistons 144-109
Chicago Bulls – Indiana Pacers 113-105
Los Angeles Clippers – Denver Nuggets 100-103

Standings:

Eastern Conference
1. Brooklyn Nets 22-9
2. Chicago Bulls 20-10
3. Milwaukee Bucks 22-13
4. Miami Heat 21-13
5. Cleveland Cavaliers 20-13
6. Philadelphia 76ers 17-16
7. Washington Wizards 17-16
8. Charlotte Hornets 17-17
9. Boston Celtics 16-17
10. Atlanta Hawks 15-17
11. Toronto Raptors 14-16
12. New York Knicks 15-18
13. Indiana Pacers 14-20
14. Orlando Magic 7-27
15. Detroit Pistons 5-27

Western Conference
1. Golden State Warriors 27-6
2. Phoenix Suns 26-6
3. Utah Jazz 23-9
4. Memphis Grizzlies 20-14
5. Los Angeles Clippers 17-16
6. Denver Nuggets 16-16
7. Los Angeles Lakers 16-18
8. Dallas Mavericks 15-17
9. Minnesota Timberwolves 15-17
10. San Antonio Spurs 14-18
11. Portland Trail Blazers 13-19
12. Sacramento Kings 13-21
13. Oklahoma City Thunder 12-20
14. New Orleans Pelicans 12-22
15. Houston Rockets 10-23

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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