The Nuggets are on the board, recording their first win of the 2020-21 season by defeating the Houston Rockets 124-111. The eventual margin of victory was 13 but Denver dominated this one for a majority of the contest, leading by as many as 25 points.
Seven Nuggets players scored in double figures as the team shot 46-87 from the field (52.9%) against a Rockets squad without John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Eric Gordon.
James Harden (34 points, 8 assists) single-handedly tried to make this game but Serbian All-Star center Nikola Jokic was the best player on the floor.
He recorded his second triple-double of the young season with 19 points, 18 assists, 12 rebounds, and three steals on a spectacular 8-of-11 shooting from the field.
The 18 dimes are a career-high for Jokic, which makes him the first center since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968 to dish out that many assists.
The best passing big man of all-time.- Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) December 29, 2020
And it ain't close.#MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/Dwxmnh6pBE
The stat line also meant that the 7-foot center tied Fat Lever for the most regular-season triple-doubles in Nuggets franchise history. The duo have both recorded 43 triple-doubles, tied for the ninth-most in NBA history.
Nikola Jokic has tied Fat Lever for the most career triple-doubles in @nuggets history with 43.- Justin Kubatko (@jkubatko) December 29, 2020
Jokic and Lever are tied for ninth on the NBA's all-time list. James Harden is eighth with 46. pic.twitter.com/tKIPSQ4siG
Lever recorded all those triple-doubles in 474 games for the Nuggets while Jokic ties it up in his 384th career regular season game. Jokic is already at the top of the all-time franchise charts for most playoff triple-doubles with five.
Although the Nuggets - last season's Conference Finalists - needed their third game to record their first win, Jokic's start to the season has been stellar, to say the least. Through three games, he is averaging 24.0 points, 14.0 assists, and 12.0 rebounds on 58.1% (26-42 FGs) shooting from the field.
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