The current NBA MVP is on the ropes. This Friday morning, Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets suffered their third consecutive loss (113-118) at the hands of the Golden State Warriors who, not content with recovering their ‘Big Three’, have a fourth star ready to mark an era, Jordan Poole. This leaves the Colorado franchise touched and practically sunk: in the history of the NBA playoffs, no team has been able to come back from 3-0 against. And there are 143 precedents.
Nikola Jokic returned, one more night, to be the star of his team. With 37 points and 18 rebounds, he showed why he is considered one of the best players in the world, a candidate to defend the MVP title he won last year. The Warriors’ interiors could do nothing to diminish their dominance in the paint —no Californian player captured more than six rebounds—, so they focused their efforts on defending the perimeter. Successfully. Only Aaron Gordon exceeded 15 points by the Nuggets, apart from the Serbian.
Splash Brothers 2.0 💦
Game 4: GSW vs. DEN, Sun. 3:30pm/et on ABC pic.twitter.com/5DgaaEKbpv
— NBA (@NBA) April 22, 2022
However, if Draymond Green was key in the second game by initiating a psychological war against Jokic that ended with the MVP expelled from the court for a double technical foul, the forward would sing victory again in his particular duel, despite his 13 centimeters of height disadvantage. The ‘Joker’ seemed impossible to stop and not even Green, who had to play the final stretch with five fouls under his belt, seemed able to tame him. However, he laughed last again.
With 40 seconds left in the game, Green stole a ball from Jokic that culminated in an acrobatic basket by Poole that put the Californians three points ahead. Iguodala’s subsequent block on a 3-pointer by Barton ended the Nuggets’ hopes of tying the score.
On behalf of the Golden State Warriors, the Splash Brothers and their new brother shone one more night. Stephen Curry, who came off the bench again, contributed 27 points, while Klay Thompson contributed 26. However, the spotlight focused on the new member of the fashionable group.
Jordan Poole not only stood out with his 27 points, but he was in charge of occupying the coach’s seat, Steve Kerr, and encouraging his teammates in a timeout in the last period, when Denver had taken the lead in marker. “This is a Poole Party !”, Thompson would assure at the end of the match, making a play on words with the concept “pool party” and the surname of his partner.
MAVS vs. JAZZ Game 4: Sat. 4:30pm/et on TNT pic.twitter.com/Ogps9mPOZM
— NBA (@NBA) April 22, 2022
In the rest of the night’s highlights, the Dallas Mavericks, still without Luka Doncic , made it 2-1 in their tie against the Utah Jazz despite playing in Salt Lake City (118-126). A superlative Jalen Brunson (31 points) is making his Slovenian teammate not be missed because, for now, the point guard is the second highest scorer in the playoffs, just behind Donovan Mitchell.
On the part of the team trained by Quin Snyder, Donovan Mitchell (32 points), Bojan Bogdanovic (24 points) and Mike Conley (21 points) were their main bastions, although they could do nothing to stop the Texans’ offensive gale.
Ja Morant recorded the first triple-double in Grizzlies history in a playoff
In the third game played this morning, the Memphis Grizzlies managed to come back from a 26-point difference in the last quarter, which allowed them to storm Minneapolis and take the lead in their particular duel against the Timberwolves (95-104). On a fateful shooting night, Ja Morant contributed to the rest of the game and became the first player in Tennessee franchise history to record a triple-double in the playoffs (16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists). Desmond Bane (26 points) and Brandon Clarke (20 points) took over their lead heading to the basket.
On the part of the Minnesota franchise, D’Angelo Russell (22 points) and Anthony Edwards (19 points) found themselves alone in the face of danger, with Karl-Anthony Towns missing. The center of Dominican origin spent 38 minutes without scoring. In these playoffs, he has recorded more fouls than points (he finished the night with 8).