Jokic downs Raptors as Nuggets continue to impress

  • Jokic downs Raptors as Nuggets continue to impress

Jokic downs Raptors as Nuggets continue to impress

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone hailed Nikola Jokic's "phenomenal" showing in the 106-103 beating of the Toronto Raptors and believes the giant centre still has another gear to go to.

The match-winning final seconds capped off a stunning performance by Jokic, who notched 23 points, 11 rebounds and provided 15 assists, leaving him with 16.7 points-per-game so far this season, his best to date.

Harris was replaced in the lineup by Malik Beasley, who finished the game with 15 points. Serge Ibaka added 15 points, Pascal Siakam had 14 and Kyle Lowry had five points and 11 assists. Toronto began the half with a three-pointer to cut the lead to single digits, but a couple Nuggets baskets later and the lead was back to 10 with 7:50 remaining in the third.

Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points and Lou Williams topped off his 20-point night with a long, contested, off-balance jumper that gave the Clippers a 127-124 lead with 6.4 seconds remaining.

Toronto's bad three-point shooting continued in the second - Miles connected on the only one of 10 that fell for the Raptors.

After Toronto missed two shots, Hernangomez made one of two free throws with 12 seconds to play to boost the lead to two.

The Nuggets struggled to begin the fourth quarter though as they started just 1-of-9 shooting from the field and allowed Toronto to cut the deficit to 89-88 with 7:40 left in the game.

The Raptors shot a disgusting 2-for-12 from three-point range in the first quarter, but still managed to keep it close. Leonard tied the game on a fadeaway jumper with seven seconds left. But fouls by Ibaka and Leonard proved costly, as Jokic had three free throws to clinch the win for Denver. This will be the second time Denver has faced the Magic this season as the Nuggets picked up a 112-87 victory in the two teams first matchup.