The Denver Nuggets defeated the Phoenix Suns in overtime by a score of 128-125, thanks to a triple-double from Nikola Jokic, in the NBA’s annual Christmas Day series finale.
Jokic’s performance, which ended with 41 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists, was the fourth game in NBA history with 40 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. He joins Oscar Robertson, who did the same thing in 1961 and 1962, and James Harden, who did it in 2016.
In the extra session, the Nuggets completed a comeback and ended Phoenix’s two-game winning streak with a crucial dunk from Aaron Gordon that stood up after a review.
It was Jokic’s 83rd triple-double of his career, and it came a week after the two-time NBA MVP had 40 points, 27 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Devin Booker, a star player for Phoenix, made his comeback from a groin injury in just 4:20, scoring two points after scoring 58 against New Orleans in his previous start.
Denver’s Jamal Murray scored a dunk with 10.7 seconds remaining to tie the game in regulation. However, Gordon’s OT dunk was what secured the Nuggets’ victory. He was initially given an offensive foul, but after a review showed that Landry Shamet was moving, Gordon was given the basket and a free throw.
In the final seconds of overtime, Phoenix had a chance to tie the game but failed to pass.
Mikal Bridges was penalized for an offensive foul after accidentally colliding with a Denver player, despite the Suns having a 12-point lead in the third quarter. Bridges compensated by preventing Murray from scoring just before the final buzzer.
The Christmas games helped the Nuggets go from 2-6 to 2-6. The other victory came against Seattle in 1994.
On a night when the Suns lost Booker once more to the groin injury, Shamet came off the bench and scored 31 points, matching his career high. After missing the previous three games due to groin pain, Booker was just back on the court.
Phoenix had six players in double figures, led by Deandre Ayton, who scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. Chris Paul missed five free throws despite having 17 points and 16 assists.
Murray had 26 points, while Gordon had 28.
Early on, the Nuggets held a 15-point advantage. Phoenix came back into the game thanks to 15 points from Shamet in the second quarter.
Gordon shot 11 of 18 shots, while Jokic shot 16 of 25. Both players extended their streaks to 23 games in which they shot at least.500 from the field, surpassing Nene’s 2010–11 franchise record.
The two teams met for the first time in four meetings. Last season, the Suns beat Denver 2-1.