West Notes: Nuggets, Nikola Jokic, Mavs, Luka Doncic, Grizzlies


A three-game skid is now ancient history for the defending champions, as the Nuggets built a big lead, then held off the charging Hawks for a 129-122 road win on Monday.Nikola Jokic

Jamal Murray led the way with a season-high 29 points and Nikola Jokic added 25 after a few games where he struggled with his shooting. 

Denver actually led by 20 points in the fourth quarter … and then just by 126-122 in the final minute.

“We were playing like we were in a panic,” Jokic told reporters. “A win is a win and that’s the most important thing. … We got the stops when we needed it.”

  • The Nuggets also received a season-high 46 points from the bench. That always helps on the road. 


Luka Doncic clearly had a feeling the Mavericks would need a total team effort to get a road win against the Grizzlies on Monday. Dallas was missing a handful of players due to injuries, including star Kyrie Irving.

But a teamwide effort is what the Mavericks received, with Doncic scoring 35 and rookie big man Dereck Lively II adding 16 points and 16 rebounds to snag a victory in Memphis.

“Obviously, we had a lot of people out,” Doncic told reporters. “I said before the game: ‘Everybody be ready.’ The trust factor was huge this game.”

  • Second-year guard Jaden Hardy made the most of his opportunity, scoring 19 off the bench. “When I’m out there and the ball is finding me, it’s just being ready to shoot,” Hardy said. “I feel like if I’m open, I feel like it is going to go in every time I shoot. Just having the confidence when I’m out there.”


  • Not surprisingly, the Grizzlies are near the bottom of the NBA in scoring, averaging 106 points per game. They suspect that will change once star guard Ja Morant returns from his 25-game suspension.
  • Worse, following Monday’s loss to Dallas, the Grizzlies are 1-10 at home. But shooting guard Desmond Bane said all Memphis can do is keep pushing on until Morant gets back. “There wasn’t too much to be said after the game,” Bane said. “Come in (Tuesday), get our work. Refresh our minds and be better when we get another opportunity.”

Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 30 teams!

Leave a Reply