The Herculean effort wasn’t enough to take down a difficult matchup for Denver
There’s a lot of strife around the Denver Nuggets right now. Players aren’t happy with the losing. Coaches aren’t happy with the defense. Fans aren’t happy with Michael Porter Jr.’s role. A lot of general unhappiness.
That didn’t stop Nikola Jokić from reminding everyone just how good he was on Saturday afternoon against the Sacramento Kings.
The performance came in a loss, but Jokić was truly magnificent, scoring a career high 50 points on 20-of-33 from the field, 3-of-6 from three, and 7-of-7 from the free throw line. He added 12 assists, nearly put together a triple-double with eight rebounds, and even threw in three blocks and a steal for good measure. Jokić did all of that in 41 minutes, sitting one minute total in the second half. That singular minute matches the solitary turnover Jokić had throughout the game too.
This was perhaps Jokić’s most dominant performance of his career, and the fact that it came in a loss says a lot about the supporting cast. Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Facundo Campazzo, and PJ Dozier were all out, meaning Jokić and Monte Morris had the majority of the creation responsibility. Denver needed some defense to help out those two, but defense never occurred throughout this one.
Here’s hoping that the Nuggets can find a better defensive performance for Jokić (and more help offensively) for the Nuggets to win some games going forward. They’ve lost three of their last four and have lost the shine from a five-game winning streak that included some strong performances on the road. Wasting a 50-point performance from Jokić feels cruel.
Enjoy these highlights.