Nikola Jokic scored 37 factors and the Denver Nuggets averted being swept out of the NBA playoffs on Sunday, holding off the Golden State Warriors 126-121.
The 27-year-old Serbian massive man, final season’s NBA Most Worthwhile Participant, additionally delivered eight rebounds and 6 assists because the Nuggets pulled inside 3-1 of their best-of-seven Western Convention first spherical sequence to power a fifth recreation on Wednesday at San Francisco.
The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks and the Jap Convention top-seeded Miami Warmth pushed their sequence results in 3-1 with lopsided victories.
The Bucks routed the Chicago Bulls 119-95 and the Warmth dominated the Atlanta Hawks 110-86.
Jokic acknowledged that the Nuggets had been decided to keep away from a sweep on their house ground towards the Warriors.
“We put up the combat,” Jokic stated. “We did not need to get swept. We’ve extra satisfaction in ourselves.”
After Stephen Curry nailed an extended jumper to present Golden State a 121-119 lead with 1:21 to play, Jokic made a layup, Monte Morris sank a go-ahead jumper with 33 seconds remaining and, after a steal by Austin Rivers, Jokic fired a move to Will Barton for the deciding nook 3-pointer with 8.3 seconds remaining.
“I used to be simply making an attempt to assault and I simply noticed the move within the nook,” stated Jokic.
No group in NBA historical past has overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff sequence, however Jokic says the Nuggets have the spirit to make historical past.
“We have actually received our second wind, so why not?” he stated.
Within the 2020 playoffs performed within the coronavirus bubble, the Nuggets turned the primary group to rally from 3-1 down in a sequence twice in the identical post-season.
“Clearly, out of all of the groups within the playoffs, we’re most likely essentially the most snug being down 3-1,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone stated. “Can I say we have now them proper the place we wish them? No. However we’re alive.”
Morris had 24 factors and Aaron Gordon added 21 for Denver.
Curry had 33 off the bench — 15 within the fourth quarter — to steer Golden State, whereas Thompson had 32 in his first 30-point playoff recreation because the 2019 NBA Finals.
Draymond Inexperienced scored 13 factors and pulled down 11 rebounds earlier than fouling out with simply over two minutes remaining.
Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered recreation highs of 32 factors and 17 rebounds to steer the Bucks in Chicago. The Greek star additionally handed off seven assists and blocked two photographs to place the Bucks in management as they head house for recreation 5 on Wednesday.
Bucks reserve Grayson Allen scored a profession playoff excessive 27 on 10-of-12 taking pictures, 6-of-7 from 3-point vary, whereas Jrue Vacation added 26 factors and Bobby Portis had 14 for Milwaukee.
“I’ve received to belief my teammates,” stated Antetokounmpo. “They know what the deal is. They’ll all make performs. The video games grow to be simple if you transfer the ball.”
The Bulls, who have not received a house playoff recreation since 2015, had been led by Zach LaVine with 24 factors and 13 assists whereas DeMar DeRozan added 23 factors.
The Bucks had been with out ahead Khris Middleton, out for the rest of the sequence attributable to a left knee harm suffered in a recreation two loss. Portis changed him, sporting glasses to guard an eye fixed harm.
Jimmy Butler led the Warmth in Miami, scoring 36 factors to place the group on the point of advancing.
Miami held Atlanta star Trae Younger to only 9 factors on 3-of-11 taking pictures — all three of his baskets 3-pointers.
Butler added 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals for a Warmth group that was with out Kyle Lowry, who was sidelined with a hamstring pressure however was a vocal presence on the bench.
Trailing by one after the primary quarter, the Warmth seized management with a 30-15 second quarter that featured a 15-0 scoring run and closed with an 11-0 surge.
It was a irritating night time for Atlanta, who had clawed again a win on Friday on a game-winner by Younger. The Warmth will attempt to shut it out on their house ground on Tuesday.