NBA: Nikola Jokic leads Denver Nuggets to comeback win against Toronto Raptors


Nikola Jokic scores a basket for the Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokic helped the Denver Nuggets outscore the Toronto Raptors 32-21 in the fourth quarter to close out the win

Nikola Jokic says the Denver Nuggets are not “quitters” after leading the defending NBA champions to a remarkable comeback against the Toronto Raptors.

The Nuggets trailed by 22 points at one stage but rallied to win 125-119.

Serb Jokic produced a towering display, scoring 35 points to drag his side back into contention in the second half.

Elsewhere, the Boston Celtics became the first NBA side to reach 50 wins for the season, recording a 121-99 victory at the Portland Trail Blazers.

Two-time Most Valuable Player Jokic, 29, totted up his season’s 21st triple-double – when a players scores 10 or more points, assists and rebounds – to help lead the Nuggets to an unlikely win.

Along with his points haul, he added 17 rebounds and 12 assists.

Denver trailed by 22 points in the second quarter, but Jokic racked up 19 points in the third to trim the visitors’ lead to five points. Denver then outscored short-handed Toronto 32-21 in the fourth quarter to close out the win.

“We were just fighting,” said Denver centre Jokic. “The whole crew showed their character today. We’re not quitters.”

Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray added 26 points, with 12 assists and five rebounds, while RJ Barrett led Toronto’s scorers with 26 points.

Jaylen Brown weighed in with 27 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Celtics as they continued to lead the way in the NBA with victory against the Trail Blazers, who lost for the 10th time in their past 11 home games.

Jayson Tatum added 26 points and eight assists and Sam Hauser scored a season-best 22 points off the bench for the Celtics, who logged their 13th victory in 15 games.

Meanwhile, Klay Thompson scored 21 points on his return to the starting line-up for the Golden State Warriors as they ran out 112-102 winners at the San Antonio Spurs. Jonathan Kuminga top-scored for the Warriors with 22 points, while Victor Wembanyama led scoring for the Spurs with 27 points after missing two games with an ankle injury.

Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal combined to score 88 points as the Phoenix Suns won 117-111 at Cleveland Cavaliers. Durant led the way with 37 points, while Booker added 27 and Beal 24.

The Detroit Pistons completed a season sweep against the Charlotte Hornets, winning their latest game 114-97, while Luka Doncic posted 27 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds for his seventh straight triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks won 127-92 at the Chicago Bulls.

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