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Watch Nikola Jokic put up 32-16-16 triple-double, lead Nuggets past Warriors

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors
Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors

Fans inside the Chase Center were hopeful — the Warriors came into Sunday playing their best basketball of the season, had found an identity as Steve Kerr (finally!) leaned into the youth movement, and they still had Stephen Curry. Then a red-hot Klay Thompson dropped 16 in the first quarter. In the middle of the second quarter Golden State led the defending champion Nuggets by 16.

Nikola Jokic crushed that hope. The Warriors had no answer for Joki
c, who put up an insane 32-point, 16 rebound, 16 assist game to lead Denver to the win.

This was Jokic's third straight game with a triple-double.

It was more than Jokic. The Warriors also had no answers for the Nuggets' runs, and everyone in the building was reminded of the gap between those Warriors and the top teams in the West as Denver won 119-103.

"I felt for the first quarter and a half they were the aggressor, they had us on our heels, and we were reacting to everything they did," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said, via the Associated Press. "For us to close out 14-0 and then to start the third 14-4, I think we kind of flipped the switch and we became the aggressor on both ends and stopped thinking and started playing with an attack mindset and an aggressive mindset, and I think that's when we're at our best.”

Golden State got off to that fast start thanks to Klay Thompson, who scored all 23 of his points in the first half. The Warriors led 56-40 in the third but the Nuggets went on a 14-0 run just before the half and another one in the third quarter. Denver pulled away in the fourth quarter when Golden State scored only 16 points in 12 minutes. Jamal Murray scored 27 points and Aaron Gordon added 17 for Denver. Stephen Curry started slow (he missed his first seven 3-pointers) but bounced back to score 20.