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Jokic hits late jumper, Nuggets stun Sixers with big rally

DENVER (AP) Nikola Jokic lofted the winning shot and then pleaded for it to fall as he tumbled to the floor.

''I was hoping,'' he said. ''I mean, you're happy that you didn't miss, because then everybody will be mad at you. The whole arena is going to be disappointed.''

Instead, the Denver Nuggets big man sent the fans home with a game they won't soon forget.

Jokic hit a 20-foot jumper on a broken play with 1.2 seconds remaining, helping the Nuggets rally from a 21-point, fourth-quarter deficit to stun the Philadelphia 76ers 100-97 on Friday night.

It's the largest fourth-quarter comeback in their history, the team said.

Jokic scored 16 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, none bigger than his jumper from the left side of the court that he saw go in from the floor. Before his shot, Jokic was trying to get the ball to Paul Millsap, who couldn't get off an attempt. He passed it back to Jokic.

On the next possession, Jokic drew an offensive foul on Joel Embiid by fronting him near the basket. It was the sixth foul on a frustrated Embiid.

''I'm kind of heavy. He needs to push a lot just to push me out,'' Jokic cracked. ''I felt he pushed me too strong.''

Embiid saw things different after watching the replay.

''If you want to call that foul, especially at that time of the game, it's kind of (expletive), especially because he was hooking me before that foul actually happened,'' Embiid said.

A similar feeling for Sixers coach Brett Brown.

''I've just seen the foul that was called on Joel and I have no words,'' Brown said. ''When you see that particular play, I have no words. We give them credit. We weren't able to find a way to win on the road.''

Denver hung in there with defense until the offense picked up. Will Barton hit two free throws to seal the win.

''Says a lot about this team, the heart,'' Paul Millsap said. ''We want to have the heart of a champion. That's what champions do, they continue to fight. We were able to get some stops.''

Jamal Murray, bloody nose and all, had 22 points for the Nuggets, who've won three straight games since coach Michael Malone called out his team for their energy level.

No questioning their energy in this one. Philly hit the first shot of the final quarter to go up 21 and then it was all Denver. The Nuggets didn't take their first lead of the fourth until Jokic's jumper. His 16 points in the final period outscored the Sixers' 13 total points.

The matchup in the middle between two of the top centers in the NBA proved highly entertaining. For once, Jokic got the better of Embiid in the stat that mattered most - wins. Jokic is 1-3 against Embiid when they both play, according to Basketball-Reference. Jokic was first team All-NBA last season, and Embiid second team.

A breakdown of the numbers: Jokic had 11 rebounds and six assists. Embiid finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds and two assists.

Tobias Harris and Raul Neto each had 13 points for the Sixers, who finished 1-3 on their four-game Western swing. They were without Ben Simmons after he sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder Wednesday in Utah. Neto started in his place.

The 7-foot Jokic lost his cool late in the first quarter after not getting a call when he was grabbed while going up for a shot. Jokic held out his hands in exasperation toward official Scott Wall, who ignored him at first and then issued a technical.

TIP-INS

76ers: G/F Shake Milton remained out with a left knee bone bruise/sprain. ... Simmons will be evaluated again before Sunday's game against Charlotte. ... G Trey Burke picked up a technical in the second quarter. ... The Philly bench combined for 37 points, while the Nuggets' reserves had 12.

Nuggets: Millsap played with 11 stitches above his right eye after a collision on a fast-break last game. Wearing a headband, he finished with 15 points.

SENSE OF HUMOR

Malone got to know Embiid through the ''Basketball Without Borders'' program a few years back. Malone was a coach of the African squad.

''I won't get into the stories,'' Malone cracked. ''Joel has a great personality. He has a great sense of humor. I did enjoy my time being around him in a short period of time during that camp.''

UP NEXT

76ers: Host Charlotte on Sunday.

Nuggets: In Minnesota on Sunday.

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Key Players
J. Embiid
21 C
N. Jokic
15 C
29.6 Min. Per Game 29.6
14.9 Pts. Per Game 14.9
5.9 Ast. Per Game 5.9
9.7 Reb. Per Game 9.7
43.8 Field Goal % 45.9
46.3 Three Point % 43.8
83.0 Free Throw % 77.8
  Bad pass turnover on Josh Richardson, stolen by Mason Plumlee 0:00
+ 1 Will Barton made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:00
+ 1 Will Barton made 1st of 2 free throws 0:00
  Personal foul on Al Horford 0:00
  Turnover on Joel Embiid 0:00
  Offensive foul on Joel Embiid 0:00
+ 2 Nikola Jokic made jump shot, assist by Paul Millsap 0:02
  DEN team rebound 0:13
  Al Horford missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:15
+ 2 Jamal Murray made finger-roll layup 0:37
+ 2 Joel Embiid made layup, assist by Raul Neto 0:53
Team Stats
Points 97 100
Field Goals 38-86 (44.2%) 39-87 (44.8%)
3-Pointers 13-26 (50.0%) 9-22 (40.9%)
Free Throws 8-17 (47.1%) 13-17 (76.5%)
Total Rebounds 61 48
Offensive 11 7
Defensive 38 34
Team 12 7
Assists 28 28
Steals 8 10
Blocks 8 11
Turnovers 17 10
Fouls 19 16
Technicals 1 1
13 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST
26 PTS, 10 REB, 6 AST
1234T
away team logo 76ers 5-3 2433271397
home team logo Nuggets 6-2 18242335100
Team Stats
away team logo 76ers 5-3 109.8 PPG 46.8 RPG 26.2 APG
home team logo Nuggets 6-2 106.9 PPG 46.3 RPG 25.8 APG
Key Players
J. Embiid C 22.9 PPG 11.4 RPG 2.9 APG 46.9 FG%
N. Jokic C 16.4 PPG 8.8 RPG 6.0 APG 45.3 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Embiid C 19 PTS 15 REB 2 AST
N. Jokic C 26 PTS 10 REB 6 AST
44.2 FG% 44.8
50.0 3PT FG% 40.9
47.1 FT% 76.5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Embiid 19 15 2 6/17 2/4 5/7 6 28 0 1 8 5 10 -10 31
T. Harris 13 10 4 6/14 0/2 1/2 2 33 2 2 1 1 9 -9 34
R. Neto 13 2 6 5/6 3/3 0/0 0 30 0 1 2 0 2 -11 26
A. Horford 8 10 4 3/12 2/7 0/2 3 31 1 2 1 2 8 -11 28
J. Richardson 7 0 5 3/10 1/2 0/0 1 32 2 1 2 0 0 -2 18
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Embiid 19 15 2 6/17 2/4 5/7 6 28 0 1 8 5 10 -10 31
T. Harris 13 10 4 6/14 0/2 1/2 2 33 2 2 1 1 9 -9 34
R. Neto 13 2 6 5/6 3/3 0/0 0 30 0 1 2 0 2 -11 26
A. Horford 8 10 4 3/12 2/7 0/2 3 31 1 2 1 2 8 -11 28
J. Richardson 7 0 5 3/10 1/2 0/0 1 32 2 1 2 0 0 -2 18
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
F. Korkmaz 12 2 1 4/6 3/3 1/2 1 24 0 0 2 0 2 -8 14
K. O'Quinn 11 1 2 5/6 1/1 0/1 3 7 0 0 1 0 1 +8 15
J. Ennis III 6 4 1 3/3 0/0 0/2 0 15 1 0 0 1 3 +19 13
T. Burke 5 1 3 2/7 1/2 0/0 0 17 0 1 0 0 1 +10 13
M. Scott 3 4 0 1/5 0/2 1/1 3 18 2 0 0 2 2 -1 9
J. Bolden - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Shayok - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Simmons - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Milton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Thybulle - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Smith - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Pelle - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 97 49 28 38/86 13/26 8/17 19 235 8 8 17 11 38 -15 201
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
N. Jokic 26 10 6 10/22 2/9 4/5 4 37 2 2 1 2 8 +18 51
J. Murray 22 6 11 10/18 1/3 1/1 2 37 1 2 2 1 5 +16 51
W. Barton 20 7 1 8/12 2/4 2/3 1 36 2 1 2 0 7 +16 30
P. Millsap 15 8 2 4/11 3/4 4/4 3 34 2 2 0 2 6 +23 31
G. Harris 5 3 3 2/9 1/1 0/0 1 34 1 0 0 1 2 +11 15
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
N. Jokic 26 10 6 10/22 2/9 4/5 4 37 2 2 1 2 8 +18 51
J. Murray 22 6 11 10/18 1/3 1/1 2 37 1 2 2 1 5 +16 51
W. Barton 20 7 1 8/12 2/4 2/3 1 36 2 1 2 0 7 +16 30
P. Millsap 15 8 2 4/11 3/4 4/4 3 34 2 2 0 2 6 +23 31
G. Harris 5 3 3 2/9 1/1 0/0 1 34 1 0 0 1 2 +11 15
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Grant 4 0 1 1/4 0/0 2/2 0 13 0 2 0 0 0 -20 8
M. Plumlee 2 3 1 1/3 0/0 0/2 3 10 2 2 3 0 3 -15 8
M. Beasley 2 1 1 1/2 0/0 0/0 0 7 0 0 1 0 1 -13 4
M. Morris 2 2 1 1/4 0/0 0/0 1 16 0 0 1 1 1 -7 5
M. Porter Jr. 2 0 0 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 -9 2
T. Craig 0 1 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 4 0 0 0 0 1 -5 3
P. Dozier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Hernangomez - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
V. Cancar - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Vanderbilt - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 100 41 28 39/87 9/22 13/17 16 236 10 11 10 7 34 +15 208