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Nikola Jokic Tied A Career-High With 47 Points As Denver Ended Utah’s 11-Game Win Streak

The Utah Jazz entered Sunday riding an 11-game win streak that vaulted them to the top of the Western Conference standings with a 15-4 record, and were doing so thanks to the NBA’s best three-point shooting attack in terms of volume and efficiency. However, Sunday provided a stiff test in the form of the rival Nuggets in Denver, a rematch of their thrilling first round series in the Bubble that the Nuggets won in seven games.

As was the case in the Bubble, the game started with some ridiculous shooting from both teams, which Denver managed to continue for the entire first half en route to a 25-point lead at the break. Nikola Jokic led the way with 33 first half points, including a 22-point effort in the first quarter that was nothing short of sensational as the Jazz tried just about everyone possible on defense to no avail.

The rest of the way, Jokic was steady, playing the entire third quarter as Denver tried to put Utah away, but the Jazz kept hanging around, cutting the Denver lead to as few as nine. They were never able to sustain a run, though, thanks to Jokic and the unlikely heroics of Facu Campazzo in the second half, as he had 11 points and five assists off the bench to stabilize things for Denver after Gary Harris left the game early and never returned.

Jokic’s final bucket of the evening was a fitting encapsulation of his afternoon, as he simply bullied his way to the hoop and calmly flipped the ball into the hoop despite the contest from two Jazz defenders.

The loss was the first in weeks for the Jazz, who played pretty well in this one but just couldn’t overcome the shooting onslaught they got hit with by the Nuggets early. Denver as a team shot 18-of-28 from three-point range and 54 percent from the field overall. Jokic finished the game 17-of-26 from the field, including a perfect 4-for-4 from three, racking up 47 points to tie his career high along with 12 rebounds and five assists as he picked up his 20th consecutive double-double to start the season.

Sunday afternoon’s performance in a semi-national contest against the league’s hottest team was quite the bullet point on his early MVP resume. As for the Jazz, they fall behind the 16-5 Clippers with the loss but can get back on level terms at the top of the West against the Pistons on Tuesday, as they look to start another winning streak before heading East.