The Denver Nuggets captured a delightful victory against the New York Knicks 113-99. They have beaten the Knicks eight times in a row and four straight in the Garden. The Nuggets move to 10-1 when they hold their opponent to under 100. They held the Knicks to 39% shooting from the field and 30% from behind the arc. Although Denver only had five free throw attempts, they knocked down 20 threes and moved the ball well with 30 assists.
One of the last times these two teams matched up, Knicks center Mitchell Robinson said guarding Jokic “wasn’t hard at all.” In response, Jokic dropped 32 points on 14/19 shooting and had Robinson gasping for air throughout the night. Zeke Nnaji also played his best game of his career. He was extremely active on both ends, hitting 5 threes on his way to his new career-high of 21 points.
The Nuggets will continue this east coast road trip with another matchup against the Chicago Bulls Monday at 6:00 PM MT.
The Nuggets entered the first two minutes with energy and execution. They held the Knicks to 1-6 shooting and Jokic filled the stat sheet early recording two points, a no-look assist, and a rebound
New York discovered their physicality on the defensive end but also started to make shots to tie the game at 13. Randle, Barrett, and Fournier all hit threes
Jokic appeared very aggressive in the first quarter. He was physical inside and relentless on the glass forcing Robinson to show fatigue and sub out early
Denver’s ball movement was impressive. Guards were attacking the paint and accurately slinging it to the opposite end for wide-open opportunities. The Nuggets had 9 assists in the quarter
The Nuggets shot 57% from the field and went 4-9 from three in the first. They outrebounded the Knicks 14-7 and held them to 39% from the field and 30% from three
Score: 30-25 Nuggets
Scoring leaders: Jokic – 10, Barrett – 7
Both teams were scoreless in the first two minutes of the quarter. The Knicks were 0-6 shooting and Denver 0-4.
The first basket of the quarter was a Davon Reed three. He banked it in so it wasn’t pretty, but it was well deserved as he displayed a high motor with his early minutes
Zeke Nnaji was another bright spot for Denver in the first half. He was as active on the glass as I have ever seen him and he hit 4 threes. His 3rd three gave the Nuggets a 44-28 lead
The bench was excellent in their first stint of the game. Jokic exited with a five-point lead and the bench extended it to 16
Once the starters returned, the Knicks went on a 9-2 scoring run to decrease the Nugget lead to nine. Evan Fournier and Julius Randle were the catalysts behind the comeback
Denver finished the quarter active and engaged. Jokic controlled the offensive glass, Barton drove to the rim with a fancy euro step, and Zeke Nnaji hit his 4th three of the half
Score: 60-49 Nuggets
Scoring leaders: Jokic – 17, Randle – 13
Aaron Gordon committed his 4th foul twenty seconds into the quarter. It seemed to hand the Knicks some momentum as they closed the lead to seven with great offensive rebounding. To the 11:00 mark in the second, New York already had 13 offensive rebounds
Once the Knicks showed signs of recovery, Jokic regained control of the game. In about a 60 second span, he had 3 points and two assists leading to two threes
The Knicks closed the lead to six with two difficult threes from Burks and Fournier, but the Nuggets ballooned it back to twelve with a couple fast-break baskets
A 20-3 Nugget run inflated their lead to 23. Jokic was dominant all game as he had 32 points at the 2:30 mark in the 3rd.
Everybody began to chip in towards the end of the 3rd. Davon Reed hit his second three of the game as Denver shot nearly 70% in the quarter
Score: 92-71 Nuggets
Scoring leaders: Jokic – 32, Randle – 15
Denver opened the quarter obtaining their largest lead of the game at that point of 28. Facu Campazzo knocked down two threes, JaMychal Green had one, and Reed hit his 3rd three of the game
Zeke Nnaji looked incredible all night. He was in the picture for nearly every rebound, had his hand in the passing lanes, and capitalized on his open looks
Although the Nuggets obtained a 30 point lead the Knicks did not wave the white flag. They returned their starters and executed a quick 6-0 run followed by a Malone timeout
After a Zeke Nnaji offensive rebound, he hit two free throws to give him his new career-high of 21 points. The rebound was important because the Denver offense was stagnant and the Knicks continued to give a solid effort
The majority of the Nugget starters returned midway through the fourth with the exception of Jokic and Jeff Green. They restored the momentum on offense with a Monte layup and a Barton three
Randle and Rose scored several garbage time points to make the score closer than what it really was
Score: 113-99 Nuggets
Scoring leaders: Jokic – 32, Randle – 24
Points: Jokic – 32
Assists: Randle – 8
Rebounds: Jokic – 11
Silent Hero of the Game: Zeke Nnaji – 21 points (career-high), 8 rebounds, 2 steals, and was a game-high +22 off the bench