122-118: Morant founds the Nuggets despite Jokic’s triple-double

Sports Writing (USA), Jan 21 (EFE).- Ja Morant, with 38 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, melted the Denver Nuggets this Friday, who despite Nikola Jokic’s fourth triple-double in a row could not contain the Memphis Grizzlies (122-118). Leading just 4 points with 1.02 remaining, Morant drew three Nuggets defenders on his drive to the basket and, at the last minute, gave a providential pass for Jaren Jackson Jr.’s game-ending 3-pointer. Despite the coronavirus losses of Desmond Bane, Kyle Anderson and Tyus Jones, those from Memphis took out the steamroller for Denver with 52.4% shooting from the field, 58 points in the paint (48 from the Nuggets), 35 points from his bench (17 of his opponents) and 48 rebounds (37 of his rivals). The Nuggets turned to Jokic (26 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists) and Will Barton (27 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists). Facundo Campazzo played 19 minutes in which he missed 3 shots and had 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. The Argentine has had extra competition in the Nuggets rotation with the signing of Bryn Forbes, who debuted today with 9 points (4 of 13 shooting). JOKIC WAS LATE TO WAKE UP After his recital on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers (49 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists), Nikola Jokic seemed to take the start in stride and gave the spotlight on his team to Will Barton, who made his first three shots for 8 points. Ja Morant hit his first four shots in an entertaining start (15-15 with 7:20 on the clock). The Grizzlies with 5 of 5 triples left the Nuggets behind (23-28 with 2.57 to go). Jokic took almost ten minutes to get his first basket, but the opening quarter (28-37) was an exhibition by Morant with 12 points (5 of 7 shooting) including a great dunk on the fast break. Zeke Nnaji led an 8-0 run for the Nuggets to rejoin the game as soon as the second quarter began (35-37 with 10:42 to rest). However, the Denver team got entangled in a stretch with many turnovers, problems to close their rebound and meaningless protests before the referees -two technical fouls in that quarter- that the Grizzlies, with Jaren Jackson Jr. showing his head, took the opportunity to get away on the scoreboard (42-53 with 6.40 to play) After a fairly discreet first half, Jokic woke up with two triples, one of them very far, which left the Nuggets very close to the Grizzlies before going through the locker room (63 -68). Catapulted by a frenetic Morant (23 points on 9-of-14 shooting at halftime), the Memphis men were very dangerous from 3-point range with 10 of 16 attempts. MORANT DECIDE Morant did not relax at the restart. The Nuggets increased their performance on defense and, with Barton executing on offense, they threatened the Grizzlies (72-73 with 9:38 on the clock). Then came the best minutes of the Nuggets, with a versatile and omnipresent Aaron Gordon accompanying Jokic, but they did not know how to take full advantage of Morant seemed to cool down (82-78 with 6.01 to go). The Grizzlies charged back with De’Anthony Melton, picked up the pace to wear the Nuggets down and went on a fantastic 4-15 run to regain control (92-98). Even so, two three-pointers by Gordon with a minute to go made Denver believe in the feat, but Morant was responsible for waking them up from their sleep with his precise assist for Jackson Jr.’s deadly three-pointer.


Leave a Comment