After a loss in Atlanta on Wednesday night, the Nuggets ventured to New York looking for a win and guess what. A win is exactly what they found. Wilson Chandler and the Nuggets visited his and Danilo Gallinari’s former home in New York and got a sweet, much needed W behind Nikola Jokic’s new career high 40 points (he shot 17-23 from the field and had 18 in the 3Q), 9 rebounds, and 5 assists in 37 minutes. Behind the Joker was Chandler with 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in 36 minutes. Jameer Nelson also put up a double-double with 16 points, 12 assists, and 4 rebounds. All Nuggets started combined for 104 points.
The Nuggets led the Knicks in the first half, outscoring them 34-32. The Nuggets continued their work in the second but were ultimately outscored 34-30 by the Knicks. At the half, we were trailing the Knicks 66-64. The turning point for the Nuggets came in the third quarter when we outscored the Knicks 36-22. The Knicks attempted to rally in the fourth, and even outscored the Nuggets 35-31, but they just weren’t able to cut it as they fell to our own Denver Nuggets, 131-123.
In the second half, we were able to take care of the ball much better and that was proven when we only had four turnovers in the second half after having eleven turnovers in the first.
In a stat, courtesy of my friend Chris Dempsey over at The Denver Post, Nikola Jokic recorded the second ever 40-point game at Madison Square Garden by a Nuggets player. The last Nugget to do this was David Thompson with 41 points in 1978.
The Knicks were led by former Denver Nugget Carmelo Anthony with 33 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in his 35 minutes. Kristaps Porzingis contributed 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists in his 33 minutes. Right behind Kristaps was Kyle O’Quinn off of the bench with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.
A sight that Hernangomez fans loved was that both brothers were on the floor at the same time. Juancho Hernangomez put up 8 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist in his 16 minutes. Willy Hernangomez contributed to the Knicks 123 points with 12 points and 4 rebounds in his 9 minutes.
While tonight had many great aspects, one of the best was Nikola’s new career high 40-points and Coach Malone and The Joker’s teammates know it.
“He’s already a star in my eyes.” Wilson Chandler on Nikola Jokic
FG%: 56.8% 55.9%
3PT%: 50% 42.1%
FT: 70% 60%
Rebounds: 43 33
Assists: 30 36
Steals: 6 10
Blocks: 5 5
Turnovers: 15 11
Fast Break Points: 4 19
Points in Paint: 68 52
The Nuggets are on their second of a three game road trip. Their next stop is Cleveland to face LeBron James and the Cavs.
**Tipoff for the Nuggets vs. Cavs game is at 5:30 pm MST tomorrow night**