The Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers started off their matchup trading baskets back and forth as both sides were putting up a flurry of points. About midway through the first quarter, the 76ers were taking advantage of Denver’s turnovers and knocking down 3-point shots as they stretched their lead to as many as 17 points against Denver’s starting unit. However, after a couple of Denver’s second unit guys got into the game, Denver went on a quick run that had them back within nine points. They couldn’t maintain that as the 76ers finished the period strong to lead 37-22 heading into the second quarter.
To start off the second quarter, Denver’s second unit was able to hold the line for several minutes, but the levee quickly started to break. The 76ers couldn’t miss a shot, and the Nuggets couldn’t match them on the other end of the floor. However, over the final few minutes, Denver really started to hit their stride. They quickly took a 19-point lead for Philadelphia and started to chip away. Eventually, Denver got within five as they were trailing just 53-58 heading into halftime.
After finishing the first half with a flurry of points, Denver kept that rolling to start the third quarter as they scored the first four points, which had them in the middle of a 14-0 run. Philly got some points on the board, but the Nuggets were finally able to take their first lead since the game was 6-5. The 76ers battled back, and they were able to regain their lead. However, the Nuggets were keeping the game close, and they were down by seven heading into the final period on the road.
Denver’s second unit got things going early on in the quarter, and they had the game tied at 89 with nine minutes remaining in the game. The two sides started trading 3-point shots over the next few minutes, and this game was going down to the wire with the two teams tied at 97 with just under seven minutes remaining before a long-range 3-pointer by Bones Hyland gave them a three-point lead. He quickly followed it up with another deep triple that gave the Nuggets a six-point lead with 6:06 remaining and forced Philadelphia to call a timeout. Out of the timeout, the 76ers tied the game at 103 before Denver could score again. The two sides traded baskets back and forth before Denver scored back-to-back possessions to take a four-point lead under two minutes. Philly scored to get within two with under 15 seconds to go, but Will Barton was heading to the free-throw line with the chance to ice it. He went 1-of-2 as he missed the first. Philadelphia got the ball with multiple looks at a 3-pointer to tie the game, but they came up short as Denver walked out with a 114-110 win on the road.
Points: Nikola Jokic – 22
Assists: Jokic – 8
Rebounds: Jokic – 13
Player of the Game: Bones Hyland – 21 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 7-of-14 field goal, 4-of-9 3-point, 3-of-5 free throw