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Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic’s buzzer-beating banked three stuns Warriors

Byusanewscart.com

Jan 5, 2024 #Sports

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Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic added a new chapter to his incredible career. 

The two-time MVP and reigning NBA champion sunk the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, banking in a game-winning three from near half-court to send the four-time champs to their fourth loss in five games. 

Nikola Jokic hits a game winning three

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, #15, hits a three-pointer over Golden State Warriors forward Kevon Looney to give the Nuggets the win in an NBA basketball game on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Loren Elliott)

With 3.6 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the game tied 127-127, Aaron Gordon inbounded the ball to Jokic, who took three dribbles before pulling up from just beyond half-court. 

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The game-winner completed an 18-point comeback for the Nuggets, who went on a 25-4 run to close the game. 

“That was the last option with that play,” Jokic said, according to ESPN. “I just took a shot. I think those shots are the easiest shots to take. You don’t have any other options. So actually, when I felt it, I thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to bank this.’ You can see the flight of the ball, and I just knew I was going to bank it.”

Jokic finished the night with 34 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds, as the Nuggets improved to 24-11 on the year. 

Nikola Jokic celebrates a game winner

Nikola Jokic, #15 of the Denver Nuggets, celebrates after making the game winning three-point basket against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 4, 2024 at Chase Center in San Francisco. (Jed Jacobsohn/NBAE via Getty Images)

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It was a stunning loss for the Warriors, who held a 123-105 lead with 6:51 left in the fourth quarter. 

It was the seventh time this season that Golden State lost a game after holding a lead of at least 10 points, per ESPN. 

“These games all come down to the wire, it feels like for us this year,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ve probably lost four or five we should have won.”

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Nikola Jokic hugs Mike Malone

Nikola Jokic, #15 of the Denver Nuggets, hugs head coach Michael Malone after the game against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 4, 2024 at Chase Center in San Francisco. (Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

It has been a rocky start to the season for the Warriors, who have been without four-time All-Star Draymond Green for the last three weeks. 

Green was suspended indefinitely by the NBA after he wildly struck Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic in the face during a December matchup. 

Green is reportedly nearing a return to the team. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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