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Thursday night’s clash pitted the Denver Nuggets (who headed into it sitting in third place in the Western Conference) against the league-leading Boston Celtics, who lost a hard-fought game by a score of 115-109.

The showdown took place on a particularly lively evening in the NBA where there were seven games on the schedule, and when everything was said and done, every single one was decided by seven points or less. That included the contest between the Denver Nuggets and the Boston Celtics in The Mile High City, which lived up to expectations as the home team prevailed buoyed in particular by a triple-double from their playmaker Nikola Jokic (who had 32 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists).

Results of the night

‘The Joker” played well (as usual) but wasn’t even the most prominent figure in clutch time, as the Celtics (who were dominated more often than not) never let up. Aaron Gordon (16 points, 9 rebounds) distinguished himself with a monstrous tap-dunk on a missed Jokic shot, while Peyton Watson (11 points) had a huge block on Jaylen Brown.

On the other side of the court, Brown was the Celtics’ best player, improving his season-high to 41 points while fellow Celtic Jayson Tatum (15 points and 8 assists) struggled to get things clicking. Boston also had some issues at the free-throw line by going 16 for 25, with Brown finishing at 7-of-14 from the charity stripe. 

However, the Celtics still put up a fight. With four minutes to go, Joe Mazzulla’s squad trailed by 9 points (107-98) but came back to within two on a Jrue Holiday (12 points) jump shot with a minute to go. However, that was Boston’s last basket as Gordon added another dunk and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope sealed the deal by bringing the final score to 115-109. 


Denver (43-20) took advantage of the opportunity to keep pace with Oklahoma City (43-19) and leader Minnesota (44-19), whom Michael Malone’s protégés will have to face three times over the rest of the season. Boston’s supremacy in the East—and even in the combined conferences —probably still isn’t in question, but his second straight setback (after the one they suffered in Cleveland) is the sign of a very slight slump.

For only the second time this season, the Boston Celtics have suffered two defeats in a row. The previous “losing streak” dates back to November 9, when they suffered back-to-back defeats to Minnesota (109-114 a.p.) and Philadelphia (103-106).

This post is originally from L’Équipe