Nikola Jokic, Bruce Brown and Vlatko Cancar save Nuggets with gripping OT win vs. Thunder

The swings were violent enough to make Nuggets fans nauseous, but Thanksgiving’s going to be a bit more satisfying after what Denver pulled off Wednesday night.

What was once a 19-point lead melted into a double-digit deficit, and still, Denver didn’t quit. On the second night of a back-to-back, without two starters and another key reserve, the Nuggets, behind Aaron Gordon’s 3-point blitz, erased a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime.

Once they’d got it that far, Nikola Jokic wasn’t going to let them lose. Denver survived 131-126 thanks to career nights from Bruce Brown and Vlatko Cancar, and a season-high 39 points from Jokic. Gordon, who buried three 3-pointers in the fourth, logged a season-high 30.

While Jamal Murray (return to play conditioning) and Michael Porter Jr. (heel contusion) watched from the bench, Denver outscored the Thunder 11-6 in overtime to improve to 11-7 on the season.

Brown finished with 17 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists and four steals in 45 minutes of tireless work. The occasion marked his first career triple-double. Bones Hyland wasn’t able to play due to a non-COVID illness, meaning Brown was the only available point guard. Cancar scored a career-high 20 points, with numerous instances of spectacular defense to stymie the Thunder. Despite seven 3-pointers from Isaiah Joe, and 31 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Nuggets survived and headed to Los Angeles on a high.

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