Jokic records his 40th double-double; Nuggets defeat the Heat to reach 40 victories

February 14, 2023

Miami had allowed the fewest points in the paint per game this season than any other club entering Monday night (Tuesday, Manila time).

Nikola Jokic didn’t appear to be concerned.

The Heat’s eight-game home winning streak was broken by the Denver Nuggets, who defeated the Heat 112-108 behind the two-time reigning MVP’s 27 points on 12-of-14 shooting.

Michael Malone, the coach for Denver, remarked, “Nikola did what he does.”

Jokic also contributed 12 rebounds and eight assists to Denver’s 58 percent shooting effort. The Nuggets climbed up to the top of the Western Conference standings five games clear of the dormant Memphis Grizzlies, joining Boston as the only other teams to reach the 40-win plateau this year.

Miami’s Max Strus stated, “He’s a tremendous player. He improves everybody around him.” They took charge and made their shots. They are a tough team to defeat and are ranked first in the West for a good reason.

In the paint, the Nuggets were 29 of 40, scoring 58 points. Miami entered the game, surrendering 44.9 paint points on average.

Three Nuggets—Vlatko Cancar, Christian Braun, and Thomas Bryant—finished with a combined total of 10 points. Michael Porter Jr. scored 17 points; Bruce Brown contributed 16 points, and Jeff Green scored 12.

It demonstrates the caliber of our depth, according to Malone.

Jimmy Butler had 24 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds for the Heat. For Miami, Jamaree Bouyea added 10, Strus scored 23, Bam Adebayo had 19, and Gabe Vincent added 15.

Aaron Gordon and Jamal Murray, Denver’s second and third-leading scorers, were out due to right knee tendinitis (left rib contusion). Murray missed his sixth game in a row, while Gordon missed his third in a five-game stretch.

On Wednesday, the team plays its final game before the All-Star break against Dallas; Malone expressed “maybe, maybe” that they will be able to play again.

With 9:07 remaining in the third, Miami alumnus Brown hit a 3-pointer to put Denver ahead 70-69, and the Nuggets maintained the lead the rest of the way. Denver eventually held a 10-point lead. From there, Miami came within one point three times.

Brown stated that “people don’t win here very often, especially because there are a lot of festivities.” They’re a good team, too, but we’re delighted we came out on top.

For Jokic, it was his 40th double-double of the year. Only Domantas Sabonis of Sacramento has more, with 44.