NBA Highlights October 21: Nuggets beat Warriors for 1st win of season

Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic (#15) holds the ball during the game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic (#15) holds the ball during the game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on October 21, 2022. /CFP

The Denver Nuggets beat the Golden State Warriors 128-123 at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday to secure their first win of the 2022-23 NBA regular season.

Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Nikola Jokic scored a triple-double of 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the Nuggets. It’s his 77th career triple-double, the seventh in league history. He is only two triple doubles away from overtaking Wilt Chamberlain.

Jokic hasn’t had as much rest as most NBA players in the offseason as he took part in FIBA ​​EuroBasket 2022 in September on behalf of Serbia. He said he still felt mental fatigue. Although he often had to face a double and even triple team when he drove into the Warriors’ paint, Jokic still managed to walk the free throw line 11 times while involving as many teammates as possible. in the attack.

Denver Nuggets' Bruce Brown Jr. (C) shoots in the game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Oct. 21, 2022. /CFP

Denver Nuggets’ Bruce Brown Jr. (C) shoots in the game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Oct. 21, 2022. /CFP

Denver Nuggets’ Bruce Brown Jr. (C) shoots in the game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Oct. 21, 2022. /CFP

Nuggets star point guard Jamal Murray missed Friday’s game due to load management, but Michael Porter Jr., Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown Jr. filled Murray’s vacancy. The three combined to shoot 11 for 20 from downtown to score 54 points. Brown Jr. missed just two of his 10 field goal (FG) attempts.

The Warriors trailed up to 18 points (70-52) after the first half, but put the suspense back in the game in the fourth quarter as Stephen Curry drained three triples. The Nuggets led by five points (124-119) with 22 seconds left to play. Draymond Green made it to the front court quickly but was immediately fouled by Jokic to force Green, whose career free throw rate is just 71.2%, not to mention that he only makes 1.5 free throws per game. Even if Green does both, it would be better than a 3-pointer by top shooters like Curry, Klay Thompson or Jordan Poole.

Stephen Curry (C) of the Golden State Warriors heads for the rim during the game against the Denver Nuggets at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Stephen Curry (C) of the Golden State Warriors heads for the rim during the game against the Denver Nuggets at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Stephen Curry (C) of the Golden State Warriors heads for the rim during the game against the Denver Nuggets at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Green made both free throws and immediately joined Poole in doubling Bones Hyland wide from the baseline. Hyland was caught off guard and lost the ball to Poole, who made a quick lay-up to reduce the Warriors’ deficit to just one point (124-123).

Nonetheless, Jokic responded in the right way by throwing a cross pass to Bruce Jr., who then completed an open dunk to extend the Nuggets’ lead to three points again (126-123). Although it was Thompson’s missed 3-pointer and Jokic’s two free throws that ended this game, what happened in the seven seconds between 0:20 and 0:13 showed just how fast and how much things could change in the game of smart brains like Green and Jokic.

The Warriors continued their rookie training through Friday’s game. However, the Nuggets ate nothing like the Los Angeles Lakers and quickly made the Warriors pay for giving James Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga too much time on the court. Although Kuminga missed the entire second half of the game, the Poole-led Warriors bench unit was still overwhelmed by their Nuggets counterpart.

Other matches on Friday (away teams go first):

Trae Young (#11) and Dejounte Murray of the Atlanta Hawks watch the game against the Orlando Magic at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Trae Young (#11) and Dejounte Murray of the Atlanta Hawks watch the game against the Orlando Magic at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Trae Young (#11) and Dejounte Murray of the Atlanta Hawks watch the game against the Orlando Magic at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Orlando Magic 98-108 Atlanta Hawks

Dejounte Murray continued to prove to the Hawks that they made the right decision to trade hard for him. Scoring 20 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and four steals, he played well as the team’s second offensive engine next to Trae Young. Dejounte Murray’s +17 plus/minus is second most on the Hawks’ roster, after only John Collins’ +26 who had a double-double of 23 points and 13 rebounds.

Despite the loss, the Magic’s Paolo Banchero, an NBA Draft 2022 first-round draft pick, scored 20 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in Friday’s game. Despite only going 1 for 6 from the 3-point line, Banchero shot 4 for 6 from under the rim and had eight free throws (making it seven). He still needs to work on his jumps, but the 19-year-old already has an idea of ​​how to harness his size, power and athleticism.

Kyrie Irving (#11) of the Brooklyn Nets shoots in the game against the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, New York on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Kyrie Irving (#11) of the Brooklyn Nets shoots in the game against the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, New York on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Kyrie Irving (#11) of the Brooklyn Nets shoots in the game against the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, New York on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Toronto Raptors 105-109 Brooklyn Nets

The Nets avoided back-to-back losses as fierce offensive productions from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving combined to score 36 points in the second half. The connection between Irving and Nicolas Claxton put the team on a 22-9 run in the first four minutes of the final quarter, setting up a slow lead for the Nets victory.

As for the Raptors, Pascal Siakam scored a triple-double of 37 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. In fact, he had 34 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in the first three quarters. He had to catch his breath after that, but for the four minutes he was on the bench, Irving and Claxton tore up the Raptors on both sides.

Ja Morant (#12) of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots in the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Ja Morant (#12) of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots in the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Ja Morant (#12) of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots in the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Memphis Grizzlies 129-122 Houston Rockets

Ja Morant of the Grizzlies became the first player of the season to score more than 40 points. In fact, he was just one free throw away from reaching 50 points. The Rockets’ paint protection didn’t seem to exist in front of Morant, who went 11 for 18 in the restricted area and made 11 of 13 free throws he won.

It’s hard to say what stage the Rockets are on right now. On the one hand, Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun have already started to turn their talents and potential into remarkable performances on the ground. Even the Grizzlies, with their brutal defense, couldn’t stop Green and Sengun from dropping 33 points and a double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds respectively. On the other hand, however, the team didn’t seem strong enough to compete for a playoff berth judging by their panic in the fourth quarter of Friday’s game.

Anfernee Simons (C) of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots in the game against the Phoenix Suns at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Anfernee Simons (C) of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots in the game against the Phoenix Suns at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Anfernee Simons (C) of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots in the game against the Phoenix Suns at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon on October 21, 2022. /CFP

Phoenix Suns 111-113 Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard generated the second 40+ point game of the 2022-23 NBA regular season just hours after Morant. He drained five triples and went 12 for 12 from the free throw line to get 41 points for Rip City at home. Jusuf Nurkic couldn’t contain Deandre Ayton, but he made a fair contribution with a double-double of 20 points and 17 rebounds.

Nonetheless, Anfernee Simons, who signed a four-year, $100 million extension with the Trail Blazers, made the game-winning overtime (OT) game at Moda Center. At 0:22 during OT, Lillard faced a double team of Devin Booker and Chris Paul at the top of the key. He passed the ball to Simons, who then beat Mikal Bridges, a first-team All-Defensive last season, and shot him as the tiebreaker for the Trail Blazers.

The Suns had the opportunity to tie the game. Booker, who already scored 33 points for the Suns before the final moment of the game, dug deep into opponents’ paint and caught the attention of Josh Hart and Nurkic before kicking Ayton. However, Ayton failed to put the ball in the net before Nurkic stopped him with a foul. Ayton missed the first free throw, purposely shot the second attempt into the glass. Jock Landale grabbed the offensive rebound, but his set up didn’t go down.

New Orleans Pelicans 124-112 Charlotte Hornets

San Antonio Spurs 137-134 Indiana Pacers

Chicago Bulls 100-102 Washington Wizards

Boston Celtics 111-104 Miami Heat

Detroit Pistons 106-130 New York Knicks

Utah Jazz 132-126 Minnesota Timberwolves

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