Nuggets vs. Warriors rating, takeaways: Nikola Jokic will get assist from supporting forged as Denver forces Sport 5

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The Denver Nuggets dwell to battle one other day, hanging on to beat the Golden State Warriors, 126-121, on Sunday to pressure a Sport 5 again in San Francisco. Nikola Jokic was the orchestrator on offense, as regular, placing up 37 factors, eight rebounds and 6 assists, however he obtained loads of assist, with big performs from Monte Morris, Aaron Gordon and Will Barton down the stretch.

After trailing by as many as 17 factors, the Warriors made a valiant comeback behind 33 factors from Stephen Curry and 32 from Klay Thompson. They struggled to execute on each ends, nonetheless, after Draymond Inexperienced fouled out with simply over two minutes remaining within the fourth quarter. Andrew Wiggins added 20 factors, six rebounds, two steals and two blocks for Golden State.

Exterior of Jokic, the story was the Nuggets’ scorching capturing. As a staff they went 15 for 31 from 3-point vary, led by Morris, who made 5 of his seven makes an attempt from lengthy distance. Rookie Bones Hyland made three straight 3-pointers throughout an enormous stretch within the second quarter and Will Barton made the game-clinching 3 from the nook with eight seconds left.

The Warriors will now look to advance to the second spherical in entrance of their residence crowd in Wednesday’s Sport 5, because the Nuggets try to increase the collection.

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Listed here are just a few takeaways from Sunday’s sport, adopted by a recap of our dwell updates.

1. Jokic will get assist

Jokic averaged 29.3 factors, 13 rebounds and 5 assists over the primary three video games of the collection, however he had but to obtain sufficient help from the supporting forged to eke out a win. That modified on Sunday, as just about each Nuggets position participant stepped up with a clutch shot or two — first to assist construct the massive lead, then to battle off the Warriors comeback. The most important contributor was Morris, who went shot-for-shot with Thompson and made all 5 of his 3-pointers within the first eight minutes of the third quarter.

He additionally made one of many largest photographs of the sport within the fourth quarter, when the Warriors determined to play a box-and-one, with Kevon Looney on Jokic to forestall him from making a play. After getting a display screen from Jokic, Morris acknowledged that as a substitute of dropping, Looney stayed with Jokic, leaving the center vast open. Morris received to his spot and hit a tricky floater to present the Nuggets a two-point lead.

Gordon additionally made a clutch mid-range jumper over Inexperienced late within the fourth quarter, and naturally Barton knocked down the clincher off a Jokic cross to place the nail within the Warriors’ coffin.

If the Nuggets have been going to remain on this collection, they wanted the position gamers to step up. They did that on Sunday, and compelled a Sport 5.

2. Poole celebration will get crashed

It was certain to occur, however after averaging 28.7 factors in his first three profession playoff video games, Jordan Poole lastly got here all the way down to Earth. He struggled his approach to 11 factors on 3-for-10 capturing, together with 1 of 5 from 3-point vary to go along with three turnovers. He was efficient as a facilitator, nonetheless, allotting 9 assists.

“They have been extra bodily with him tonight … That is to be anticipated,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr mentioned after the sport. “Groups are gonna begin throwing a whole lot of stuff at him, together with physicality, making an attempt to get beneath his pores and skin a little bit bit.”

The Warriors are a bit extra containable offensively if Poole is not taking part in out of his thoughts, and it will likely be fascinating to see — on this collection and doubtlessly the subsequent — whether or not the Nuggets have developed a kind of blueprint for protecting Golden State’s latest star beneath wraps.

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3. The Joker or The Thinker?

Everyone knows how a lot Jokic impacts the sport when he is on the courtroom, however in Sport 4 he found out a manner to assist his staff even when he was on the bench. With Jokic out of the sport for defensive functions, the Warriors confronted an important inbounds play, trailing by two with 33.5 seconds left. Because the gamers took the courtroom, Jokic rose up from the bench and appeared to shout out, “It is a lob” to his teammates, gesturing an over-the-top movement along with his hand.

Positive sufficient, the Warriors tried to lob it in to Wiggins, and Austin Rivers made an amazing play to interrupt it up and provides the Nuggets possession.

Kerr mentioned after the sport that they have been going for a fast two-for-one, however that he “would really like that play name again.” It was maybe the play of the sport for the Nuggets — positively the perfect defensive play — they usually can partially thank their MVP, who wasn’t even on the courtroom when it occurred.


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