Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets superstar centre ties career-high as team ends Utah Jazz win streak at 11 games

Riding an 11-game win streak, the Utah Jazz entered Ball Arena in Denver on Sunday as the league's hottest team.

But what's a hot team to a hot-shooting player?

Denver Nuggets superstar centre Nikola Jokic had something to say about the streak, coming out of the gates firing on all cylinders, exploding for 22 points (on 9-for-11 shooting) in the opening frame as the Nuggets took a 43-29 lead into the second quarter.

Jokic's 22 points were the most that he had scored in a quarter up to this point in his career, breaking the previous record of 21 points, set on Jan. 8, 2020.

VOTE FOR 2021 NBA ALL-STARS HERE!

The second quarter spelled more dominance for the two-time All-Star, who scored another 11 points (on 4-for-6 shooting) to bring his total for the night up to 33 points on 13-for-17 shooting, as Denver took a 79-54 lead into the halftime break. Jokic's 33 first-half points are also a new career-high, breaking his previous high of 27 points, set on Jan. 6, 2020.

It's tied for the third-best scoring half in Nuggets franchise history and is tied for the highest-scoring first half in franchise history.

Top scoring halves, Denver Nuggets history
Name Date Opp Half PTS FG FGA 3P 3PA REB AST
1 Carmelo Anthony Dec. 10, 2008 MIN 2nd 36 13 20 4 6 7 1
2 Jamal Murray Jan. 3, 2019 SAC 2nd 34 12 20 6 10 6 3
3 Nikola Jokic Jan. 31, 2021 UTA 1st 33 13 17 4 4 5 3
4 Allen Iverson Dec. 5, 2007 LAL 1st 33 12 15 0 0 0 2
5 Allen Iverson Mar. 17, 2007 PHX 2nd 31 10 14 2 3 2 5
6 Nick Van Exel Nov. 11, 2001 MIL 1st 31 10 17 5 9 5 5

Jokic entered the second half just 14 points shy of his career-high 47 points, set in a win over the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 6, 2020.

In the third quarter, Jokic picked up right where he left off in the first half, scoring another 10 points - thanks in large part to 6-for-6 shooting from the line in the frame - bringing his total for the game to 43 but what was once a large cushion for the Nuggets has been worn down.

Utah knocked down eight triples in the third quarter alone, outscoring 37-24 to enter the fourth frame down just 12 points. With the game tighter, Jokic saw more time in the fourth frame, where he added four points to tie his career-high of 47 points.

In 36 minutes of action, Jokic finished with 47 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, recording his 20th double-double of the season in as many games. The 25-year-old is now 14 games shy of tying Hall of Famer Bill Walton, who recorded 34 straight double-doubles to open the 1976-77 NBA season.

Thanks in large part to Jokic's performance, Denver earned a 128-117 win to snap Utah's win streak at 11 games.

Jokic has an opportunity to inch closer to Walton's mark when Nuggets get back to action on Monday as they host familiar faces in Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee and the Detroit Pistons.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

#Popvich
USA finds extra gear against Australia
Benyam Kidane
#MillsKD
KD powers Team USA past Boomers
Benyam Kidane and Yash Matange
#Mills
Running Diary: USA defeat Australia, advance to gold medal game
Benyam Kidane
nba-plain--7b6675ed-0199-43af-ba53-ceb2bbdba497.jpeg
Latest free agency rumours, signings
NBA.com Staff
getimage.ashx-180.jpeg
Instant analysis of the biggest reported signings
Scott Rafferty
australia-usa-slovenia-france-gettyimages
What to watch for: Olympic Semifinals
Gilbert McGregor
More News