Denver Nuggets: Player of the game in big win over Mavericks

(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

The Denver Nuggets continue to steamroll their competition despite several key contributors being injured, and the Dallas Mavericks were no exception on Tuesday night, losing 126-118 in Denver.

The win over Dallas extended their current win streak, bringing it up to 4 games. What’s even more impressive is that those 4 teams all currently have records above .500 and are all serious playoff contenders.

This win was more reminiscent of last year’s offense-first than the defensive-oriented edition of the 2018-19 Nuggets. It eventually came down to who could score more points, and the Nuggets came out victorious.

Denver had a higher ORtg(127.4-119.3) and ORB%(30.8%-14.6%) and outscored Dallas in every quarter except the 4th(23-21 Dallas). They also continued to improve their scoring from deep.

Denver drilled 41.4% of their 3-point attempts and made 12 total 3-pointers, only the 8th time this season that they’ve made at least that many 3s. For comparison, the 2017-18 Nuggets had made at least 12 3-pointers in a game 14 times by their 30th game.

This was the first time this month the Nuggets made at least 12 3-pointers and the first game in nearly two weeks that they shot at least 41% from deep.

While they are still a long ways away from returning to the top-10 shooting team that they were last season, this win helps them on the way to becoming even more unstoppable than they already are.

Speaking of unstoppable, there were 2 players who put up particularly extraordinary performances against the Mavericks. However, only one can hold the prestigious title of Nugg Love player of the game vs. the Mavericks.

(Note: All stats via Basketball-Reference.)

Player of the Game: Nikola Jokic

While Jamal Murray had a career night, Jokic just barely edges him out for player of the game. It was very tough choosing between them, but ultimately, Jokic just had the better game.

Jokic vs. Mavs Stat line: 32 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 52% FG%, 33.3% FG3%, 5 TOs

Murray vs. Mavs Stat line: 22 points, 7 rebounds, 15 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 55.6% FG%, 25% FG3%, 5 TOs

While Murray shot slightly better from the field, he did so with a lower volume(7 fewer shots than Jokic), and he also shot worse from beyond the arc. Jokic also put up a BPM of +15, while Murray surprisingly turned in a net negative BPM when he was on the court(-6).

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Jokic also played better defense. DeAndre Jordan was held to 11 points and just 2 offensive rebounds, 1.0 rebound below his season average.

However, Murray and Torrey Craig allowed the opposing Mavericks starting back court duo of Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson 31 points.

Jokic also had the lowest DRtg of any player who saw the court on either team Tuesday night, allowing 109 opponent points per 100 possessions. For comparison, Murray’s DRtg was 119, which was still the third lowest score on the Nuggets, but nowhere near as good as Jokic’s.

While both players had incredible games that they will probably remember for the rest of the season, Jokic was just slightly more instrumental in the Nuggets’ win.

However, this unconventional point guard-center duo of Jokic and Murray is currently dominating the league without 3 of its regular starters and arguably its two best defenders.

Next. Top five dunkers in Nuggets' history. dark

It doesn’t really matter who had a better game as long as the team keeps putting up wins, which they are having no problem with right now.