Nikola Jokic Near Triple-Double Leads Nuggets to Victory Over Spurs

Denver's impressive home streak continues with another victory.

by Nouman Rasool
Nikola Jokic Near Triple-Double Leads Nuggets to Victory Over Spurs
© Justin Tafoya/Getty Images

In a dazzling display of skill and athleticism, Nikola Jokic led the Denver Nuggets to a triumphant 132-120 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night. Jokic's remarkable performance included a season-high 39 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists, overshadowing the much-anticipated Denver debut of Victor Wembanyama, the top pick in the June draft.

Wembanyama's debut was impressive in its own right. In just 24 minutes, he racked up 22 points, 11 rebounds, six steals, and four blocks, marking a historic moment as the first rookie to achieve such stats. His unique contribution to the game did not go unnoticed, with Wembanyama himself acknowledging the significance of his performance.

"I like bringing something new to the game," he said. "I’m glad I can already put my name in history a little bit. It’s a good feeling”. Despite Wembanyama's efforts, the Spurs couldn't halt their downward spiral, suffering their 12th consecutive loss, the third-longest losing streak in the franchise's history.

The team had previously endured a 13-game losing streak in the 1988-89 season and a record 16-game streak last season.

Nuggets' Home Dominance

The Nuggets, on the other hand, showed formidable strength at home, improving their record to 8-0 at the Ball Arena.

Michael Porter Jr. and Reggie Jackson supported Jokic's stellar performance with 25 and 20 points, respectively. This win was a welcome change for Denver, which had recently struggled on the road, losing four of their last five games, including a recent defeat to Houston that ousted them from the NBA In-Season Tournament.

Reflecting on the team's fluctuating performance, Porter Jr. expressed the team's collective frustration and the need to adapt their game. "All of us are kind of frustrated trying to figure out why we play so different and so at a different pace,” he said.

“We’re running more at home. I don’t know what it is, so I think we got to figure it out”. The Nuggets also made notable adjustments to their lineup. Aaron Gordon was sidelined due to a right heel strain, leading to Justin Holiday's first start of the season.

Coach Michael Malone's decision to shake up the rotation post their disappointing road trip saw DeAndre Jordan stepping in as Jokic's backup, a move that contributed to their successful night. Gregg Popovich, the Spurs' head coach, praised Wembanyama's aggressive play and versatility on the court.

"He’s affecting the game in a lot of different ways," Popovich said. "He’s blocking shots. He’s scoring. He’s a willing assist man. He’s very unselfish. He doesn’t worry about making a mistake”.

The game was a testament to the Nuggets' resilience and adaptability, and a reminder of the incredible talent emerging in the league, as epitomized by players like Jokic and Wembanyama.

Nikola Jokic Nuggets Spurs