A day after winning Western Conference Player of the Week, Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic began his campaign for the honor again this week with 28 points, 21 rebounds and 9 assists in the Nuggets 110-105 win over the Pistons in Detroit, as they began a 6-game road trip.
The win was Denver's second straight over the Pistons, after beating them Sunday in Denver.
Jokic also became the 1st player in Nuggets history to post 3,000 assists and 5,000 rebounds in a career. In typical Joker fashion, he downplayed the big night and career accomplishment, "I don't care, it was a really good night for me," Jokic said. "We won the game, and that's the most important thing."
Denver was able to overcome 25 turnovers that led to 38 Pistons points. "That was my challenge to our players" Head Coach Michael Malone said prior to the game. “We didn’t hand out a Defensive Player of the Game chain last game because no one deserved it.”
Malone, who coached 4-time All-Star, and newest Nugget DeMarcus Cousins in Sacramento, didn't mind that the veteran helped echo his message. "He’s heard it, and he understands," Malone said. “DeMarcus is a vet … He also understands what it takes to win in the NBA. As do the rest of our players. All of our guys know that. These are definitely the dog days of the NBA season. I think a lot of teams, players, coaches, staff, media, I think everybody’s probably a little bit tired. It’s been a long grind. … We just can’t rely on the offense to carry the day."
The Nuggets head to Brooklyn Wednesday night for their rescheduled game with the Nets. Tipoff from Barclay's Center is at 6:00PM Mountain Time.