Want to see what basketball Tic Tac Toe looks like?
The Denver Nuggets played the Milwaukee Bucks on the second night of a back-to-back Wednesday, and in the third quarter of their eventual 110-98 win, did this:
They made nine passes in 12 seconds. The possession ended with an easy layup for shooting guard Gary Harris. Naturally, it was center Nikola Jokic who made the final pass that set Harris up for the easy bucket.
Jokic finished the game with 13 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists — the fourth triple-double of his career, all of which have come in the last 13 games. After a three-game slump that sandwiched the All-Star break, Jokic is back to looking like himself.
The Nuggets posted a 118.5 offensive rating in the win, meaning that if you extrapolated the number of possessions they had out to 100, they would’ve scored 118.5 points. That’s a really, really good number. The possession above is a great example of what Denver head coach Michael Malone means when he says, “passing is contagious.” When your best player is willing to share the ball, everyone else is too.
Six Nuggets scored in double figures Wednesday: Danilo Gallinari (22), Wilson Chandler (13), Jokic (13), Gary Harris (14), Jamal Murray (10) and Will Barton (10). Nine Nuggets scored six points or more.
Murray started his first NBA game at point guard because Jameer Nelson was out with an illness. He didn’t have his most efficient shooting night — going 4 for 13 from the field — but he had five assists. Denver had a 123 offensive rating in his 30 minutes on the floor, which is a good sign.
Denver (28-33) is now three games up in the race for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot.
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