After suffering a tight defeat at the hands of Philadelphia earlier this week, the Denver Nuggets felt that they had allowed a game that they could have won slip away in the last minutes of the game.
Having been in a situation similar to that late in the game against one of the best teams in the NBA, they made it a point to ensure that it would not happen again.
In a game that took place on Friday night, the Boston Celtics suffered their first home loss of the season, 102-100, at the hands of Denver. Jamal Murray scored 35 points, Nikola Jokic ended with 34, and Denver hung on to win.
Murray and Jokic help Nuggets hand Celtics their first loss at home this season, 102-100 https://t.co/G0NM0rCCEF
— Boston 25 News (@boston25) January 20, 2024
According to Murray, “both teams were simultaneously countering each other.” Despite the fact that both of us were throwing haymakers, we were able to land the last blow.
With the help of Jokic’s 12 rebounds and nine assists, the reigning NBA champions were able to put a stop to the Celtics’ string of 20 consecutive triumphs at home.
It was the first of two regular-season matchups between teams that were aiming to represent their respective conferences in the NBA Finals. Both events took place during the regular season. On March 7, they will perform once more in Denver.
An opportunity to tie the game was presented to Jayson Tatum in the last seconds of the game; however, he failed to make a one-legged fadeaway off the rim, which Kentavious Caldwell-Pope may have defended.
In the end, he achieved a total of 22 points and eight rebounds. While Kristaps Porzingis contributed 21 points, Derrick White finished with 24 points.
The statement that Tatum made was, “I think I kind of rushed it, and that’s on me.” I had more time than I allowed myself to spend on it.
Michael Malone, the coach of the Nuggets, stated that it was an effort that was necessary against a Boston defense that came into the game ranked third in the league in terms of defensive efficiency.
Malone stated that the individuals in question played for both themselves and for other individuals alike. It was a high-level basketball game played by two players who were All-Stars.
Although Jokic was playing in the aftermath of the unexpected death of Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milosevic on Wednesday, it was even more astonishing that he was able to accomplish this feat. The Serbian coach Milosevic was Jokic’s mentor.
Murray referred to Jokic’s behaviour on the court as “amazing” when he was processing the feelings that he was experiencing as a result of Milosevic’s dying.
From beginning to end, the game was played with a lot of energy, and there were thirteen different lead changes and eight ties.
Through a run of 12-4 to start the third quarter, Denver was able to erase a six-point deficit that they had before halftime. In response, Boston went on a 9-0 run to retake the lead, and they continued to hold that lead into the fourth quarter, 82-81.
In the fourth session, Murray made five of his first six shots, which allowed the Nuggets to take the lead with a score of 95-91. In response, Boston went on a 7-0 run, which was capped off by a driving layup made by Brown.
After a timeout, Jokic scored a goal for his team. After the Nuggets had an empty possession for two consecutive possessions, he put the Nuggets back in the lead with a short hook in the lane.
Unfortunately, Jokic was unable to make a stepback three-point shot, but Michael Porter Jr. was there to make the save. Tatum then made a driving slam to trim Denver’s advantage to 101-100. This brought the score to 101-100.
When there was just over a minute left to play, the ball was returned to Boston as a result of a shot-clock violation.
Porzingis was called for a foul on the rebound after White missed a three-point shot, but Aaron Gordon was unsuccessful in his effort to make a corner three-point shot on the other end of the court.
Tatum grabbed the rebound, drove the ball the entire length of the court, and then attempted a layup that went off the rim.
After being fouled, Gordon made his first attempt at a free shot. As a result of his second effort, which was unsuccessful, he was cited for a double lane violation, which led to a jump ball with 17.1 seconds remaining.
After winning the tip, Boston delivered it to Tatum, who was unable to escape. On the other hand, he was able to order a timeout with 13.4 seconds left on the clock.
When play resumed, the Celtics came dangerously close to losing possession of the ball.