The Denver Nuggets faced adversity early in their game against the Chicago Bulls, but they managed to pull away and secure a convincing 123-101 victory. While the win was impressive, the biggest concern of the night was the health of star point guard Jamal Murray, who left the game in the second quarter due to a hamstring strain.
The game had a shaky start for both teams, as players seemed to struggle with the newly laid court after replacing it following the NBA In-Season Tournament. Denver’s struggles were further compounded by slippery conditions on the court. However, the Nuggets managed to overcome these challenges and secure the win.
Nikola Jokic, the reigning NBA MVP, played a pivotal role in the victory with an impressive performance, finishing the game with 28 points, 16 rebounds, and nine assists. Michael Porter Jr. also delivered a standout performance, scoring 27 points, grabbing six rebounds, and blocking two shots. Reggie Jackson stepped up in place of the injured Jamal Murray, contributing 16 points off the bench.
Reflecting on his role in the game, Reggie Jackson noted, “Tried to adapt to the environment. Just figure out how to not mess it up and then be aggressive in the spots that I can be aggressive in. That group really knows how to play off each other, so you have to be in the proper spacing, and it makes it easy.”
As for Jamal Murray, his injury raised concerns, especially given his history of injuries. After the game, Denver coach Michael Malone mentioned that he had not yet consulted with the training staff about the extent of the injury but acknowledged that such injuries could linger.
The Chicago Bulls, on the other hand, struggled to keep up with the Nuggets, dropping their third consecutive game. Nikola Vucevic led the Bulls with 19 points, while DeMar DeRozan added 17, and Jalen Carter contributed 16. However, star player Zach LaVine was held to just 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
While the Bulls shot 45.3% for the game, they couldn’t contain the Nuggets in the fourth quarter when Denver shot an impressive 70%.
The game was a rematch of the previous meeting between the two teams, in which the Bulls emerged victorious with a 117-96 win on March 8. However, the Nuggets turned the tables this time, particularly in the second half.
Denver opened the third quarter with a 21-4 run, establishing a commanding lead of 72-57. Although the Bulls managed to cut the deficit to 86-76 early in the fourth quarter, the Nuggets extended their lead once more and secured the win.
Both teams were playing their second game in as many days, and it showed in the first quarter, with initial struggles from both sides. However, as the game progressed, both teams found their rhythm.
The Nuggets’ depth and the ability of players like Michael Porter Jr. and Reggie Jackson to step up in the absence of Jamal Murray became evident. This depth will be crucial if Murray’s injury forces him to miss any games.
The night also saw Collin Gillespie, who missed the previous season due to injury, making his NBA debut and contributing to the team. His presence was particularly important in filling the point guard position in the rotation.
Despite the challenges and injuries, the Denver Nuggets showcased their resilience and depth, securing a convincing victory over the Chicago Bulls and highlighting their potential as a strong contender in the league.