Between conference leaders, the Colorado franchise took the lead in the first quarter (37-28), and the "C's" could never come back, despite the 55 points accumulated by the tandem Jaylen Brown (30) and Jayson Tatum (25).
Jokic, he, double MVP in title, took his teammates by the hand and showed the example, with a 10/13 to shoot (including 2/2 at three points and 8/8 at free throws).
And even the interruption of more than half an hour in the middle of the last quarter to repair a basket martyred by a dunk from Robert Williams (Boston) did not deviate Denver from the winning path.
"We play good basketball," welcomed Andrew Gordon, author of 18 pts, 6 rebounds and 7 assists.
"We did the job. It has nothing to do with the opposing team. It's linked to our level of requirement. Tonight, we honored it," he added.
Aaron Gordon (18 pts, 6 rebounds, 7 assists) still paid tribute to the opposing doublet Brown / Tatum.
"They are special players... You try to make it difficult for them, not stop them... and that's what we managed to do," he said.
Nothing dramatic for Boston, which sees a series of four straight victories come to an end but remains at the top of the Eastern Conference, with the best record in the League (26-14).
As for the Nuggets, thanks to this prestigious success, the first against the C's since 2019, they remain the only leaders in the West (24-14), ahead of the Grizzlies, solid winners at home in Sacramento (118-108).
Interruption during the NBA clash between the Denver Nuggets and the Boston Celtics to repair a panel damaged by a dunk, January 1, 2023 in Denver © MATTHEW STOCKMAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
Wizards up, Bucks down
Faithful to the meeting, Ja Morant, well assisted by New Zealand pivot Steven Adams (11 pts, 23 rebounds), scored 35 points for Memphis.
"We took charge to raise our level and obtain this result", reacted Morant, already author of 32 points the day before against the Pelicans, 3rd in the standings with the same record as the Grizzlies (23-13).
The final meeting of the evening confirmed the current state of form: Washington won a fifth victory in a row, on the floor of Milwaukee (118-95), the Bucks who recorded their sixth defeat since mid-December (i.e. 9 met).
If Kyle Kuzma achieved the second triple-double of his career (10 pts, 13 rebounds, 11 assists), the light also sprung from the bench for the Wizards with 26 points from Japanese Rui Hachimura.
Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (#0) fouls Denver Nuggets Aaron Gordon during an NBA game on January 1, 2023 in Denver © MATTHEW STOCKMAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP
Washington, currently deprived of its star back Bradley Beal, remains in the soft underbelly (17-21) but can look ahead with relish.
As for the Bucks, who had to do without their Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo, hit in the knee, this is not the time for panic.
But, at 23-13, they must react quickly if they want to keep pace with the "two Bs", Boston and Brooklyn.
© 2023 AFP