The Denver Nuggets claimed victory over the Toronto Raptors with a 113-104 scoreline. Nikola Jokic's remarkable performance, along with notable contributions from his teammates, played a pivotal role in the Nuggets' success.
Jokic and Murray Lead the Charge
Nikola Jokic, with an impressive tally of 31 points and 15 rebounds, was a standout performer in the game. He achieved a personal milestone by scoring 30 or more points against every NBA opponent, including topping 30 against Toronto for the first time.
Jokic's efficiency was on full display as he shot 13 for 23, and his skill as a playmaker was evident in his six assists, featuring a notable behind-the-back pass to Aaron Gordon in the first quarter. Canadian guard Jamal Murray also shone in his only regular-season appearance in Canada, scoring 20 points and matching Jokic with six assists.
The Raptors paid tribute to Murray's contributions to Canadian basketball during a break in the second quarter, an acknowledgment that Murray expressed heartfelt appreciation for.
"Little stuff like that means a lot," he said, emphasizing the significance of performing well in front of his family and friends in Toronto.
A Team Effort for Denver
The Nuggets' victory was a collective effort, with Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. each adding 12 points, and Peyton Watson contributing 11 points. The win marked Denver's fifth in six games and evened their road record at 8-8.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone highlighted the team's improved offensive efficiency, particularly in road games, and their return to their distinctive style of play. Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic praised Jokic, acknowledging his achievement of recording his 400th career double-double and leading the NBA with 24 double-doubles this season.
"That’s Nikola Jokic,” Rajakovic said, recognizing the consistency of Jokic's high-level performances.
Raptors' Valiant Effort Falls Short
Despite their defeat, the Raptors showed resilience, with Scottie Barnes scoring 30 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, just two points shy of his career-high.
Pascal Siakam contributed 18 points. The Raptors narrowed the Nuggets' lead to five points in the fourth quarter, but Jokic's nine points in the closing moments sealed the win for Denver.