Nikola Jokic and his Denver Nuggets hammered the Milwaukee Bucks and the reigning MVP Giannis Antotekounmpo tonight. The team from Colorado posted a big win at Fiserv Forum, 128-97, showing muscles before the second part of the season.
This was by far the best performance of the year for Michael Malone’s guys, who were harassing one of the contenders for winning the title in their own house. The Nuggets have set the tempo early one, winning the first quarter 37-23, keeping the foot on the gas until the very end of the game.
Denver’s biggest lead of the game was 31 points.
Nikola Jokic, one of the guys with the highest chances of replacing Giannis as the MVP, had a marvelous night, posting his 50th career triple-double. The Joker had 37 points, 11 assists, and 10 boards while shooting 15-for-23, all that in 36 minutes. He is the only center besides Wilt Chamberlain with 50 or more triple-doubles.
The Nuggets also had Jamal Murray who had 24 points with six assists, shooting 10-for-17 from the field, while PJ Dozier added 19 off the bench.
Overall, the guests from Denver had 55.8% shooting from the field, compared to 40.5% by the hosts.
Giannis and Khris Middleton were the only ones with notable stats among the hosts. The Greek Freak had 27 points with 8 boards in 33 minutes, while Middleton added 20 buckets with six assists. However, there wasn’t any support coming from the other teammates.
The Bucks played the last eight contests at home, winning five, and they now sit third in the East with 21 victories and 14 losses.
Jrue Holiday’s absence hurts this team very much, as the All-Star point guard not only organizes the Bucks’ attacks but also plays terrific defense. With him in the lineup, the team has a batter ball movement and a more physical backcourt on the defensive side of the ball. Just to remind that he was a two-time All-NBA Defensive Team.
The Bucks will face the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday before having an eight-day pause due to an All-Star break after which they host the New York Knicks.-->
Denver is 20-15 and tries to make a push towards the top of the fierce Western Conference. They meet the Indiana Pacers on Thursday as well, and after that, play with the Grizzlies in Memphis when the All-Star break ends. Following that, the Nuggets have five straight games at home.