Nikola Jokic (27, Serbia) gave victory to the Denver Nuggets (Denver) with an amazing performance.
Denver comfortably beat the Phoenix Suns (hereinafter referred to as Phoenix) by 100-79 and 21 points in the NBA 2022-23 season regular league game held at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado, USA on the afternoon of the 12th (Korean time). With this, Denver maintained 1st place in the Western Conference with 28-13. (Phoenix 21-22)
Jokic played a big role in the game that day with 21 points, 18 rebounds and 9 assists. In addition, Jamal Murray contributed 16 points and 5 assists, and Bonds Highland helped Jokic with 19 points, including 5 3-pointers. Phoenix’s Josh Okogi struggled with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, but the team lost its light.
Denver overwhelmed Phoenix, who had a back-to-back schedule from the first quarter, in a speed battle. Denver caused a turnover to the opponent from the point 5 minutes after the start of the quarter. Denver, who gained momentum with three points on a fast break following Kentavius Caldwell-Pope’s steal, piled up points with Aaron Gordon and Jokic’s two-man game and Hyland’s scoring. Phoenix was also able to finish the first quarter with a 28-34, 6-point lead thanks to Okogi and Tony Craig’s hard work.
However, in the second quarter, Phoenix began to be unable to block Murray and Hyland’s pull-up three-point shot, and was helpless in the attack led by Jokic. In particular, Jokic was involved in 10 consecutive points in the middle of the quarter and produced a runaway score. Phoenix counterattacked with Dario Saric and Damian Lee, who played well in the last game, but it was not enough to stop Denver’s firepower. Denver ended the half with a 70-54, 16-point lead.
In the third quarter, Jokic and Murray played an active role, as well as Michael Porter Jr., who made three-point shots in a row, creating more runaway points. Phoenix continued to score points without any resistance. Denver then ended the third quarter with a 100-75, 25-point lead.
Even in the 4th quarter, Denver easily solved the game with a quick break by drawing turnovers from Phoenix players. In particular, Zeke Nnaji disturbed Phoenix’s defense with consecutive breakthrough points and 3-point shots, and Highland also filled up the score with good judgment in the transition situation. Phoenix belatedly Duane Washington Jr. and Jock Randale fought hard, but the pendulum of the match had been tilted long before.