UOne of the highlights of Christmas Day in the NBA was the duel between the last two champions, the Nuggets and the Warriors. The first team took it, more successful in the final stretch, by a tight 120-114. Neither Nikola Jokic nor Stephen Curry were at his best level, although the Serbian center was decisive thanks to his extraordinary success from the free throw: he made all 18 that he shot. In a very average game (4/12 shooting) he finished with 26 points, 14 rebounds and eight rebounds. That’s how he spends them.
The Nuggets based their victory on the power of their starting quintet, who scored 105 of the team’s 120 points. In addition, Denver’s substitutes did not grab a single rebound. The 42 were distributed to those who started at the beginning. Murray scored 27 points, with decisive actions in the last quarter: a difficult turnaround shot and a three-pointer. Porter Jr. finished with 19+10, to which he added great defense. Klay Thompson suffered it. Aaron Gordon and Caldwell-Pope added 16 points each. The first grabbed 10 rebounds and the second hit four triples.
The Warriors, on a bad day for the Splash Brothers, stayed in the game thanks to the contribution of their secondary teams. Curry finished with 18 points, but with 7/20 in shots and 3/12 in triples. He scored his first point with five minutes left before halftime and his first basket in play when the intermission was reached. Thompson stopped the progression of recent dates to add only nine points with 3/10 from the arc.
With both of them wrong, Wiggins stood out, relegated to the bench, but very active and taking advantage of his physical superiority (22 points). Rookie Podziemsky did it all: 13 points, nine rebounds, six assists and five steals. Chris Paul, Saric and Kuminga helped reach an uncertain outcome (106-105), but Jokic’s free throws and Murray’s success ended up deciding. The center made it 118-112 with 14 seconds left with a running dunk. A strange action for him. A gift for Christmas.