Denver Nuggets star big man Nikola Jokic delivered one of the best performances of his career and the Nuggets ended an 11-game winning streak by the Utah Jazz. On Sunday in Colorado, Jokic lit up the Jazz for a career-high of 47 points and the Nuggets claimed a 128-117 win over the Jazz to end the longest winning streak of the season in the NBA.
Jokic scored 22 points in the first quarter, had 33 points at halftime and finished the game with 47 points. "Hopefully, I'm going to score when we need it. It's just a game," Jokic said after the game, as quoted on ESPN.
"The main thing is just win the game. I'm going to score however much I need just to win the game."
Jokic urged by Will Barton to deliver a big performance
Before the game, Nuggets guard Barton came to Jokic and told him to go off on the Jazz.
"I told him a couple of minutes before [to] go get 50. But you know him; he don't care about that kind of stuff," Barton said. "He's just playing basketball, being aggressive, being who he is. We definitely wanted the big fella to get 5-0 tonight."
Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell acknowledged that his team failed to deliver a good performance against the Nuggets. "We didn't play our best; that's what hurts, especially the way we played the last two games against Dallas," Mitchell said.
"To have that performance and they come out and they shoot 15-of-17, that's what hurts the most." The Nuggets got off to a comfortable lead early on and the Jazz never recovered from it. "We cut the lead to single digits, but you give yourself a difficult hill to climb and a small margin of error and you have to be almost perfect," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said.
The Nuggets were up by 20 with two minutes left to play -- Jokic was pulled out of the game and Denver players were disappointed. "I'm oblivious. I have no idea at that point Nikola has 47," Malone said. "Jamal was kind of breaking my chops about that, and I love the fact that he's thinking about his teammate."
Mitchell shot just 3-of-12 from the field. "They started blasting music loud as hell at the start of the game, so I think I'm fine," he said. "I feel good, just trying to get my rhythm back. That's the biggest thing, but no real effects at all."