How Nikola Jokic knew Warriors' Game 4-sealing lob was coming vs. Nuggets

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How Jokic knew Dubs' fourth-quarter lob pass was coming originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

During one of the most important plays of the Warriors’ Game 4 loss to the Denver Nuggets, Nikola Jokic knew exactly what was coming.

Even though Golden State ultimately failed to complete the four-game sweep following the 126-121 loss at Ball Arena on Sunday, they had a chance to complete a comeback in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

With 33 seconds left, the Dubs trailed Denver 123-121 and needed the perfect inbound play to stay in the game. What happened next was a pass coach Steve Kerr said he wishes he could take back -- a lob over the top from Otto Porter Jr. that was meant to reach Andrew Wiggins, but never found its target after being snatched away by Austin Rivers.

Then Will Barton hit a corner trey, and that was the game.

It was almost as if the Nuggets already knew what play the Warriors were running -- and they did. Jokic could be seen yelling and gesturing from Denver’s bench, letting his teammates know that the lob was imminent a full 10 seconds before the referee handed the ball to Porter Jr.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Jokic said he could clearly see the court was set up for a lob to Wiggins.

“I did [recognize the play]. It was a lob play for Wiggins,” Jokic said. “[Steph] Curry’s crossing and he’s going to the corner, and they’re trying to find Wiggins on the lob.”

But he didn't have a crystal ball. Per Katy Winge of AltitudeTV, the Nuggets reviewed Warriors tape of late-game situations and remembered Golden State executing a similar play against the Indiana Pacers earlier this season.

RELATED: Morris: Hard foul on Draymond was 'payback' for last game

Even though Kerr and the rest of the Warriors wish they could have that game-defining lob back, they’ll get another chance to go back to the drawing board and complete the sweep when the Nuggets return to Chase Center for Game 5 on Wednesday.

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