Home / World News / Nikola Jokic lifts Denver Nuggets to win at Portland Trail Blazers – The Denver Post

Nikola Jokic lifts Denver Nuggets to win at Portland Trail Blazers – The Denver Post

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Trail Blazers had flipped an early double-digit deficit into a one-point second-quarter advantage.

And then Nikola Jokic went to work.

The Nuggets’ big man took a nifty top-of-the-key pass from Jamal Murray and finished through contact for an old-fashioned 3-point play. He dunked over Jusuf Nurkic. He connected on a 3-pointer from the top and a jumper on one foot.

That stretch of eight consecutive points captured Jokic’s best performance since his return from a sprained ankle, compiling 27 points and eight rebounds to propel Denver to a 102-85 victory Friday night at the Moda Center.

Jokic’s impressive outing was also an important counterpunch on Nurkic, his former teammate who had dominated their individual matchup since Nurkic was traded to Portland (16-16) at last season’s deadline.

Nurkic had dropped 33 points and 15 rebounds in a Trail Blazers win over Denver (17-15) late last season, a loss that all but knocked the Nuggets out of the playoffs. He compiled 17 points and five rebounds Nov. 13. Jokic, meanwhile, had scored 10 total points in his previous two games against the Trail Blazers, prompting Nuggets coach Michael Malone to insist during his pregame media availability that Jokic become more assertive against Nurkic. Nurkic finished with 10 points and one rebound Friday.

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