Denver Nuggets Prevail After Nikola Jokic’s Ejection

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Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets played their one and only game in Chicago this season without Jamal Murray. It was Serbian Appreciation Night in Chicago, home of the biggest Serbian population in the United States. Many fans came to see the best Serbian player in the league – Nikola Jokic. Unfortunately, his night ended early with an ejection in the second quarter.

Nikola Vucevic swatted Jokic’s arm on a layup, which went uncalled. Jokic, clearly upset, ran over to the ref to argue the missed call. The altercation between him and the ref lasted no more than a few strides. Shortly after, the ref ejected Jokic without any explanation. Jokic finished the game with 4 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in 16 minutes.

United Center rained down with boos after the ejection; this is an opposing team’s arena. The Chicago Bulls’ broadcast team also mentioned how ridiculous it was. This is a prime example of the poor officiating Jokic receives. Other NBA stars whine and argue with the refs time after time without receiving a technical, while Jokic already has two ejections.

Nuggets’ reserves respond with big outings

The Nuggets went into halftime with a seven-point lead following Jokic’s ejection. In addition, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was ruled out with a head contusion during halftime, leaving the Nuggets without three starters. The five players that came out of halftime made some huge plays and big stops to give the team a 16-point lead in the middle of the third. Reggie Jackson stepped up, yet again. He had 25 points and 6 assists, leading the team in points. Calvin Booth found a gem in keeping Jackson, as his contract is looking like a steal at this point in the year. He has stepped up tremendously while Murray has missed time.

Julian Strawther followed his career-high performance against the Hawks with another great game. He added 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 23 minutes and was a team-high +12. It’s looking more and more like Strawther has locked down his place in the rotation. Quite impressive for the 29th pick in the NBA draft.

Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. also contributed to the win combining for 31 points and 14 rebounds. The win gives Denver a 10-2 record in back-to-backs and a 5-1 record on the second night of back-to-backs. Their next outing is a home game against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday.

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