Nikola Jokic was at the Practice of an Overdue All-Star Game Drive before Indiana Pacers sharpshooter Doug McDermott spoiled it.
McDermott drilled one huge 3-pointer after another, and the Pacers jumped at the fourth quarter in the Pepsi Center to sneak Sunday’s match 115-107. McDermott scored 18 in the fourth quarter, including four 3-pointers.
If it wasn’t McDermott burning off the Nuggets, it was Indiana forward Domantas Sabonis, who recorded his first triple-double with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists.
“After that quarter we didn’t even ” Nuggets coach Michael Malone explained. “One-on-one containment, Doug McDermott killed us, Sabonis killed us. Fourth quarter that they had six rebounds. The very few times they did miss, they pushed around us more physical than people. ”
Indiana’s wasted Jokic’s 30-point work.
“They made us cover each error which we produced,” Jokic said s defense.
All-Star Game voting ends Monday, and Jokic is at all probability headed to next month’s showcase in Chicago. But the Nuggets, today rsquo, didn & 29-13;t even offer him support Sunday.
Will Barton and Jerami Grant were their two additional main sources of offense, and neither one can link from outside. Denver shot only.
The loss snapped Denver’s streak heading into a three-game road trip that starts Monday night in Minnesota.
Jokic carried on his own special performance. He bullied the Pacers for 12 points and three assists, including Denver’s seven of this quarter. Everything out of his tender inside touch with his eloquent 3-point stroke worked. From the conclusion of his personal attack, the Nuggets held an lead.
Their momentary lead was even more reassuring due to Denver’s injury report. Paul Millsap (knee) missed his sixth consecutive game, Gary Harris (adductor) missed his third straight and Jamal Murray rested for the next match in a row.
Less than three weeks before, in front of close family and friends, Michael Porter Jr. had his breakout game against these Pacers at Indiana. That night, he fell some career-high 25 points on 11-of-12 shooting in the field. Since then he’s had sparks of 13, 18 and 19 points, respectively, while becoming a fixture in the rotation.
At this point, teams would be foolish to not plot for the talented rookie.
“I feel the minutes he gets, folks will examine him more,”” Malone stated before the match. “He’ll be someone that they pay more attention to because they know what he’s effective at. ”
At least at the first halfof the Pacers had a much better strategy for him. Porter completed 0 for 4 from the field with five rebounds. From the game’s close, Porter had worked his way to eight rebounds and 10 points .
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“I believe what teams are also looking to do is, I think that it was the Clippers game, they attempt to place him into a great deal of actions defensively, which makes him need to perform the two ends of the floor,” Malone explained. “That’s fantastic. That’s a challenge for him. Take that pride on the defensive end and that & rsquo; s just likely to help him understand that much quicker. ”
It had been hardly a half, but the Nuggets did their damage to construct a lead. Jokic took good advantage of whichever Pacers big man tried to slow him en route to 16 points and eight rebounds within the first 2 quarters. His play inside assisted the Nuggets in also a advantage and the paint to 32 points.
Barton did his role by stabilizing the next unit. He snatched five rebounds as the bridge between the reserves and the novices and pitched in 11 points.
The highlight of the first half came after Craig swatted Myles Turner on one side and fell in an and-1 layup on the other. Craig’s three cubes helped maintain the Pacers well below 40 percent shooting over the first two quarters.
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