The Denver Nuggets defeated the depleted Phoenix Suns 128-125 overtime on Sunday night, capping off the NBA’s annual Christmas Day schedule with a triple-double from Nikola Jokic. Jokic’s performance, which ended with 41 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists, was the fourth 40-point, 15-rebound, 15-assist game in NBA history, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.
He follows in the footsteps of Oscar Robertson, who accomplished the feat in 1961 and 1962, and James Harden, who performed it in 2016. The Nuggets completed a comeback and ended Phoenix’s two-game winning run thanks to a crucial dunk from Aaron Gordon that was upheld after review in the overtime period.
It was Jokic’s 83rd triple-double in his career, and it occurred a week after the two-time defending NBA MVP had a performance of 40 points, 27 rebounds, and 10 assists. Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns only played for 4 minutes and 20 seconds after recovering from a groin ailment, scoring only two points against the New Orleans Pelicans in his previous game.
With 10.7 seconds left, Denver’s Jamal Murray scored a slam to tie the score in regulation. However, Gordon’s OT slam dunk gave the Nuggets the victory. After a review, it was found that Landry Shamet was moving, overturning the initial ruling of an offensive foul and giving Gordon the basket and free throw.
Phoenix had an opportunity to tie it in the final seconds of overtime, but they fumbled a pass instead. The Suns, who had a 12-point lead in the third quarter, were poised to make a game-winning play in regulation when Mikal Bridges unintentionally collided with a Denver player and was assessed an offensive foul.
Bridges made amends by deflecting Murray’s attempt right before the final horn. In games played on Christmas, the Nuggets’ record increased to 2-6. The other victory came over the Seattle SuperSonics in 1994.
On a night the Suns lost Booker once more to a groin ailment, Shamet came off the bench to score 31 points, tying his career high. After missing the previous three games due to groin soreness, Booker was just now making his way back onto the floor.
Phoenix had six players in the double digits, including Deandre Ayton, who contributed 22 points and 16 rebounds. Chris Paul finished with 17 points and 16 assists but five missed free throws. Murray finished with 26 points, while Gordon scored 28.
Early in the game, the Nuggets had a 15-point advantage. Phoenix regained control of the game in the second quarter thanks to Shamet’s 15 points. Gordon shot 11 of 18 from the field, while Jokic made 16 of 25.
Both individuals increased their winning streaks to 23 games. 500 or better from the area, breaking Nene Hilario’s previous mark from 2010–11. The two teams met for the first of four times at this time. Last year, the Suns had a 2-1 record versus Denver.
The Denver Nuggets defeated the depleted Phoenix Suns 128-125 overtime on Sunday night, capping off the NBA’s annual Christmas Day schedule with a triple-double from Nikola Jokic.
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