Nuggets vs. Thunder: Play-by-play, highlights and reactions

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The Denver Nuggets (15-14) play against the Oklahoma City Thunder (19-19) at Paycom Center

Game Time: 8:00 PM EST on Wednesday December 22, 2021

Denver Nuggets 77, Oklahoma City Thunder 89 (Q4 08:16)

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Jon Hamm @JonMHamm
The Nuggets have been in OKC since Monday. Clearly took in too much of the nightlife here. – 9:52 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Nuggets using Vlatko as the roller instead of JaMychal shows where they’re at with this bench offense. It’s working much better. – 9:51 PM

Brandon Rahbar @BrandonRahbar
Don’t care how much OKC is leading by, they gotta put SGA back in.
Thunder fans have been triple double blue balled enough this year. – 9:49 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
out the way 😤
@DevonEnergy 4th Quarter Commitment pic.twitter.com/YhcyVXc7YY9:46 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
pic.twitter.com/sq6CGTIYFm9:43 PM

Brandon Rahbar @BrandonRahbar
Hey OKC tried their best to tank tonight by benching the GOAT, err, the Moose. – 9:43 PM

Brandon Rahbar @BrandonRahbar
Umm… how are we going to get an SGA game-winner if the Thunder are blowing out the Nuggets? – 9:41 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
should we go for two?
@Derrick Favors ➡️ @Josh Giddey pic.twitter.com/bTUHy2pMVk9:39 PM

Joe Mussatto @joe_mussatto
The Thunder’s 86-64 lead was its largest of the season. OKC led New Orleans by 21 on 11/10. – 9:38 PM

Joe Mussatto @joe_mussatto
Derrick Favors is feeling it from the mid-range this evening. Keeps finding that soft spot. – 9:35 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
hey @MasterClass u up?
@Shai Gilgeous-Alexander | #ThunderUp pic.twitter.com/MF4AJbLobE9:34 PM

Evan Dunlap @BQRMagic
if Robin Lopez gets to 10 assists–he’s just one away–we have to call him the Trickster or something. Not quite the Joker, but in the same vein! (and both portrayed by Mark Hamill!) – 9:32 PM

Brandon Rahbar @BrandonRahbar
Lu Dort misses a 3, dives out of bounds to save it and takes it from two Nuggets, swings it across court to Giddey, runs all the way to the other side of the court, catches a pass back from Giddey, splashes a 3.
Kids, this is the face of hustle and effort: pic.twitter.com/wgIFYuyoI39:32 PM

Micah Adams @MicahAdams13
My son started peeing across the room in the middle of a doctor’s appointment today.
1) I’ve never been more proud.
2) I reflexively caught the stream mid air like a young Pee Wee Reese and I’ve never been more proud of myself.
This account is no longer just NBA stat nuggets. – 9:32 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Denver should pull Morris, Barton, and Gordon right now. – 9:32 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
Could see that timeout coming. #Nuggets are getting beat (let’s call it crushed) on the glass 37-24.
Thunder lead up to 77-61. – 9:32 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
Bones is at the scorer’s table. – 9:30 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
automatic from the elbow 🎯
@Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ➡️ @Derrick Favors pic.twitter.com/xpXPilGgJD9:28 PM

Rob Perez @WorldWideWob
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is must-see-tv every night right now. Just an elite improv ability with the ball. – 9:25 PM

Brandon Rahbar @BrandonRahbar
OKC triple double watch, but not who you think:
SGA has 21-5-6 early in the 3rd quarter. – 9:21 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
hits even when he misses ⚡️
@Shai Gilgeous-Alexander | #ThunderUp pic.twitter.com/txACdFOXuW9:17 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
Jamal Murray got in on the #Nuggets halftime layup line. pic.twitter.com/dfu40rVQ1Z9:16 PM

Tas Melas @TasMelas
I’d like to think this is Josh Giddey fixing his hair while simultaneously defending an Austin Rivers drive. pic.twitter.com/umYKuoODdv9:12 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Numbers from the first 24 📊 pic.twitter.com/XqzOsNatb39:11 PM

Duvalier Johnson @DuvalierJohnson
The Nuggets are down 60-52 at the half to the Thunder.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander cannot be stopped with 19/5/4, OKC is dominating inside with 42 points in the paint but Aaron Gordon looks solid as his connection with Jokic grows.
What’s your message to the team? – 9:10 PM

Katy Winge @katywinge
So the Nuggets really need to shrink the floor and wall off the paint in the second half. Giving up 42 PITP to the Thunder in the first half is not a recipe for success. A halftime adjustment has to be making OKC score in other ways. – 9:09 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
good guys up in OKC ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/rONBQfm6lk9:09 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
masterclass.
@Shai Gilgeous-Alexander | #ThunderUp pic.twitter.com/MHIjnCBspx9:07 PM

Chris Dempsey @chrisadempsey
This, my friends is waaaay too many buckets in the paint. OKC scored 42 points on 21/28 shooting (75 percent) in the paint in the first half. The #Nuggets must shut this off in the 2nd half. pic.twitter.com/duaZPaamFK9:07 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Halftime rotations as the Nuggets trail the Thunder 60-52.
-Shai is roasting Denver’s pick and roll coverage. Favors is setting good screens and Jokić is being put in 1-on-2’s every time
-Zeke Nnaji has 0-0-0-0-0-0-0 in 8 minutes, 0/4 shooting
-Nuggets have an 80 O RTG in 1H. pic.twitter.com/T9tLiZ2L9o9:06 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Got some work to do after the break pic.twitter.com/XSqDQcPrey9:04 PM

Joe Mussatto @joe_mussatto
SGA with 19 first-half points on 9-of-14 shooting. He’s in attack mode. pic.twitter.com/OAom0pioWe9:04 PM

Rylan Stiles @Rylan_Stiles
This Thunder offense makes me happy. – 9:02 PM

Brandon Rahbar @BrandonRahbar
First time in a long time a team hasn’t thrown double teams at or swarmed SGA when he gets to the paint.
What’s he doing with all that space?
19 points in the first half.
That’s why OKC wants to add another elite talent next to Shai. He’s dangerous with more space. – 9:02 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Until Denver solves how to slow SGA, it might not matter how much they score. – 9:01 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
OKC has 42 PITP … in the first half. That’s a ghastly number. – 9:01 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
My god Denver has no answer for Shai. He’s just walking into floaters and layups. – 8:58 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
finding the open man, deflection that creates a fast break
serious broccoli 🥦 pic.twitter.com/siNnJi668G8:58 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
I think Nikola Jokic realized he cannot be stopped. – 8:57 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Lmao, Jokić had Jeff Green on a back cut for a layup and Gordon stepped in front of the cutting lane for his own cut and and-1. – 8:57 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
Aaron Gordon’s not dumb. One of the biggest reasons he came back to Denver, and loves it here, is because he knows he’s going to eat so many free meals playing alonside Nikola. – 8:56 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
With many more to come 💰
#MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/3PMziPLZbw8:55 PM

John Hollinger @johnhollinger
Starting to think Isaiah Roby can’t guard Nikola Jokic 1-on-1. – 8:55 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Zeke Nnaji can have very strong defensive possessions and yet he struggles with finishing the play. He was containing Bazley’s drive well but just got flat-footed at the last second and Bazley was gone. Hopefully that’s just being young and not a lack of athleticism hurting him. – 8:50 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Nuggets shooting 32% from the field against the Thunder. Blegh. – 8:50 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
Nuggets are down 10 to the Thunder midway through the second. How many post/paint touches has Nikola Jokic had tonight? – 8:49 PM

Joe Mussatto @joe_mussatto
Isaiah Roby checks in for the first time in two weeks and he’s gotta guard Jokic. Rough world. – 8:47 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
Kenrich Williams stan checking in. – 8:47 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
Bones Hyland has a right ankle sprain and is questionable to return, I’m told. – 8:46 PM

Katy Winge @katywinge
JOKIC AGAIN. pic.twitter.com/q8lnz0mEcS8:45 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
What a move by Austin Rivers. – 8:45 PM

TJ McBride @TJMcBrideNBA
It looked like Bones twisted his right ankle again. He was holding it on the bench. The hits just keep on coming. – 8:43 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Bones comes up gimpy after hurting his right ankle, which he already sprained earlier this year.
Basically willed the Nuggets offense back in the second quarter. – 8:42 PM

Duvalier Johnson @DuvalierJohnson
Bones Hyland twisted his ankle again.
He just took a foul to pull himself out of the game. This has been a reoccurring injury for him. – 8:41 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
Looks like another sprained ankle for Bones Hyland. It’s his right ankle again, which has already forced him to miss games this year. He tweaked it, then took a foul and went right to the bench. He’s already wearing braces on both ankles. – 8:41 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
Bones just took a foul and appeared to ask out of the game. Monte Morris coming in. Trainers are looking at Bones on the bench. – 8:40 PM

Adam Mares @Adam_Mares
3 fouls drawn in a row by Bones. – 8:39 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
card declined 🚫 pic.twitter.com/WLR5BmP8zh8:37 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
One quarter in the books pic.twitter.com/lPVIEv4Kr68:35 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
The NBA gave the Nuggets five days off when they didn’t need it in order to save the Brooklyn Nets for their Christmas Day matchup and I’m SHOCKED they look rusty. – 8:35 PM

Gordon Gross @GMoneyNuggs
Too much time off from basketball is catching the Nuggets sleepwalking. – 8:35 PM

Joe Mussatto @joe_mussatto
Two more blocks for Darius Bazley in the first quarter. He had four on Monday. – 8:34 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
There is some beautiful game stuff happening with the #Nuggets right now. But Facu made it a *little* too beautiful. Just take the layup. – 8:27 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
OKC BOYS TOO STRONG 🗣️
@Josh Giddey | @Jeremiah Robinson-Earl pic.twitter.com/O0XXMBIhdG8:25 PM

Katy Winge @katywinge
Keys to the game
Nuggets vs OKC
Offense has been humming.
🔑 strong start
🔑 bench repeat Atlanta performance 51 points!!!
🔑 Jokic gonna Jokic – he has been GREAT vs OKC
pic.twitter.com/bKRgXlaP0M8:21 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Another early dime-dropping delight! pic.twitter.com/btTd6UdCBG8:20 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
standard.
@luthebeast | #ThunderUp pic.twitter.com/aGmGlENLGY8:17 PM

Katy Winge @katywinge
JOKIC. pic.twitter.com/reYvPTcYUx8:16 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Left-handed slinger 🤯
The MVP does it all. pic.twitter.com/IjGcT2zk6b8:16 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
omg Nikola – 8:12 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
Nikola Jokic to Monte Morris. pic.twitter.com/mgbMO3ExfJ8:12 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Ready to hoop again 🏀 pic.twitter.com/WUr405koRC8:04 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
Same starters ⚡️
Presented by @EnergyTransfer pic.twitter.com/c0yvwH4WSB8:00 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Glad to have ya back, @Jmyke1! pic.twitter.com/ARCjOHpHXp7:54 PM

Duane Rankin @DuaneRankin
No new injuries for #Suns for Thursday’s game vs. #Thunder. – 7:42 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
Nuggets starters: Monte, Will, AG, Jeff and Nikola.
No surprises. – 7:41 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
Nuggets starters: Morris, Barton, Gordon, Jeff Green, Jokic – 7:40 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Tonight’s starters vs. @Oklahoma City Thunder ⤵️
#MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/zahzPWzREF7:40 PM

Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears
Delaware Blue Coats win the G League Winter Showcase Cup with 104-98 win over the Oklahoma City Blue. Winners split $100,000. Players split $90K and coaching staff, led by head coach Coby Karl, $10K. pic.twitter.com/CiQUanEQLb7:32 PM

Adam Mares @Adam_Mares
After 5 days without a game, we are back in the pregame lounge. Come join!
✅ Jokic game? Bones game?
✅ What the Christmas slate SHOULD be
✅ Altitude TV update
✅ Best bets
youtube.com/watch?v=gh26Vy…7:30 PM

Katy Winge @katywinge
This isn’t even all of the @BillHanzlik grandchildren.
But I’ve decided I’m going home and they can do the show tonight.
Nuggets vs OKC with breakdowns from the little ballers. pic.twitter.com/LSiI37asAk7:19 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
What to do with two off-days in OKC: Monday, Nuggets played Pickleball. Assistants Ryan Bowen and Jordi Fernandez were two standouts. Tuesday, Aaron Gordon rented out a movie theater. The team saw Spider-Man. Michael Malone fell asleep but notes he didn’t lose track of the plot. – 7:14 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
putting in the prep work. pic.twitter.com/3A0QyPsx6l7:07 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
Aaron Gordon and JaMychal Green are available tonight, #Nuggets say. – 7:03 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
Nuggets say Aaron Gordon and JaMychal Green are available tonight in OKC. – 7:00 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
UPDATE: Aaron Gordon (left hamstring soreness) and JaMychal Green (right ankle sprain/left knee soreness) are available for tonight’s game.
#MileHighBasketball6:57 PM

Rylan Stiles @Rylan_Stiles
Mark Daigneault references Memphis trying to call Josh Giddey into the action to attack him late in the game saying “if you shy away from that now, you miss skills that will be critical.” says toughness is required in the games “we hope to be playing in at some point.” – 6:44 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Back at it 💧
#ULTRADrip x #MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/RKvB9qmAFk6:44 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
When the #Nuggets arrived in OKC on Monday, a bunch of them spent three hours at “Chicken and Pickle” playing pickle ball.
Asked Malone how his dink game was: “Oh, I’ve got it all.” – 6:43 PM

Rylan Stiles @Rylan_Stiles
Mark Daigneault said the second Blue game Aleksej Pokusevski played in was a “good blueprint.” adds “he looks older to me out there, he is growing into his body, more on balance, defensively it is showing up a little bit there.” – 6:43 PM

Rylan Stiles @Rylan_Stiles
Mark Daigneault calls Denver a “unique” defensive team, adding how big they are. Says they will see if they can handle it. – 6:42 PM

Rylan Stiles @Rylan_Stiles
Mark Daigneault on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander vs Nuggets “I don’t know how they will match with Shai tonight. We have seen different looks with him. Dallas threw [Dorian] Finney-Smith on him” mentions some times throw size on SGA, some do not, like Aaron Gordon tonight for DEN. – 6:41 PM

Joe Mussatto @joe_mussatto
Mark Daigneault said Darius Bazley is going to be back in the starting five at some point, not necessarily permanently. – 6:33 PM

Michael Singer @msinger
Malone said last night, Aaron Gordon organized a team movie night: Spider-Man. – 6:33 PM

Rylan Stiles @Rylan_Stiles
Mark Daigneault confirms Darius Bazley will be back in the starting lineup “at some point” maybe not “full time” – 6:33 PM

Rylan Stiles @Rylan_Stiles
Mark Daigneault mentions Darius Bazley at the five again, “it opens up minutes at the four, for Robinson-Earl, or Poku.” – 6:32 PM

Adam Mares @Adam_Mares
Michael Malone: This has been the longest one-game road trip ever.
Says the team went to a place called “Chicken and pickle” during their long stay in OKC. Also said Aaron Gordon rented out a movie theater and the team watched Spider-Man. – 6:32 PM

Rylan Stiles @Rylan_Stiles
Mark Daigneault on Darius Bazley “I am seeing what I was hoping to see. He is embracing the circumstances, rolling with the punches…his energy has been solid and consistent. We know what he is capable of, how do we try to tap into that more consistently?” – 6:32 PM

Rylan Stiles @Rylan_Stiles
Mark Daigneault said they want to continue to see what Jeremiah Robinson-Earl looks like as a four. “Hopefully we get off to a good start with it tonight.” – 6:30 PM

Brandon Rahbar @BrandonRahbar
Thunder starters vs Nuggets:
SGA
Dort
Giddey
JRE
Favors
Tre Mann is available. Moose is out. – 6:29 PM

Joe Mussatto @joe_mussatto
Tre Mann (toe sprain) is available tonight, per Mark Daigneault.
Starters same as Monday:
– SGA
– Giddey
– Dort
– Robinson-Earl
– Favors – 6:29 PM

Rylan Stiles @Rylan_Stiles
Mark Daigneault announces that the team will start:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Josh Giddey
Lu Dort
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
Derrick Favors – 6:29 PM

Rylan Stiles @Rylan_Stiles
Mark Daigneault says Tre Mann is available. – 6:28 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
all plaid everything. pic.twitter.com/CHy8Uz2pX46:23 PM

Joe Mussatto @joe_mussatto
Scheduling quirk: Coming into the Nuggets game tonight, the Thunder has played a league-low two divisional games, both against the Jazz.
Lots of Nuggets, Blazers and Wolves games coming up for OKC. – 5:59 PM

Joe Mussatto @joe_mussatto
Darius Bazley, speaking pregame, on coming off the bench: “Me and coach had already talked in his office beforehand. We were just trying to come up with something that would help the team and myself.”
We’ll have more on this postgame. – 5:55 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
that Final feeling 😄
Tune in now on ESPNews and follow @okcblue as they tip off in the #ATTWinterShowcase Cup Championship Game 🏆 pic.twitter.com/wNGQkdflFx4:59 PM

Rylan Stiles @Rylan_Stiles
The Thunder list Tre Mann as questionable (great toe sprain) and Mike Muscala as OUT (rest). The Nuggets are without PJ Dozier, Bol Bol, MPJ, Jamal Murray, and Markus Howard. JaMychal Green, and Aaron Gordon are questionable. – 4:38 PM

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA
Free pod: Live Mailbag: Most Promising Rebuilding Teams; Most Important Stats; Jokic/Steph/KD’s Seasons in Context w/ @Danny Leroux https://t.co/LCIiFaICwc
Dunc’d On Total Access members get this episode ad-free, plus our other 4 pods per week. Subscribe: https://t.co/XSgwN6kjka pic.twitter.com/mWHxS2MV8F4:30 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
Going for 🖐 in a row against OKC!
Sign up and bet $1 on any NBA game with @PointsBetUSA and get $100 in Free Bets!
➡️ https://t.co/aEolNKZ6Nw
#MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/b62pKeGULC4:26 PM

Will Barton @WillTheThrillB5
Nobody wanna see Astronaut Kid, Super Future, fire-marshal-Future, Future Hendrix, King Pluto when it come to that music. You gon get ya issue. & I ain’t going back & forth bout it. Yo really da 1! – 4:22 PM

Will Barton @WillTheThrillB5
Monster, beast mode, 56 nights, DS2, purple reign, hndrxx, beast mode 2, the wizrd all undeniable classics! He didn’t miss on none of them! Joint tapes what a time to be alive & super slimey undeniable classic projects. It can really get spooky! – 4:15 PM

Will Barton @WillTheThrillB5
Pluto catalog too deep, got plenty hits, plenty anthems, classic mixtapes, classic albums. However you want it he can give it to you. I promise it’ll get ugly for anybody standing in front of him on a stage! The more songs it go the scarier it’s gonna get for any opponent! – 4:02 PM

Will Barton @WillTheThrillB5
He can go from thought it was a drought(what you gonna play to match that?) to my collection(what you gonna play to match that?) it’s nothing nobody can do with him. It’s a reason YE said he the most influential artist in the last 10 years! – 3:51 PM

Will Barton @WillTheThrillB5
Nobody can beat Future in a versus! Future is the 🐐. He got too many energy changers! His range too much for any rapper. Yo got too many gears he can shift to. Too many tempos. He can control & dominate the room with too many differeht sounds. – 3:45 PM

Rod Boone @rodboone
Gordon Hayward is on the floor for the end of #Hornets practice. He’s available for tomorrow’s game against Denver. pic.twitter.com/A3GmyQLO4M3:20 PM

Charlotte Hornets PR @HornetsPR
INJURY UPDATE: @Charlotte Hornets at DEN 12/23
Cody Martin (H&S protocols) is out
#AllFly3:17 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
Pretty excited to watch Nuggets basketball today. It’s been a long time. – 3:09 PM

Harrison Wind @HarrisonWind
Nuggets are staring at a critical three-game stretch: at Thunder, vs. Hornets, at Clippers. That leads into a home-in-home with the Warriors next Tuesday/Thursday. Three games Denver should win before visiting Golden State. – 3:06 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder @okcthunder
File → Save → Set as Wallpaper ⚡
#ThunderUp | #WallpaperWednesday pic.twitter.com/pITFhT5Yar2:48 PM

Danny Leroux @DannyLeroux
Dunc’d On: Live Mailbag: Most Promising Rebuilding Teams; Most Important Stats; Jokic/Steph/KD’s Seasons in Context w/ @Nate Duncan
Subscribe to Total Access for ad-free episodes of Dunc’d On, and much more: duncdon.supportingcast.fm
Listen: omny.fm/shows/duncd-on…2:30 PM

Ryan Blackburn @NBABlackburn
There are five teams with worse records than the Nuggets that also don’t have the reigning MVP that will be playing on Christmas this year.
And now, Luka’s in protocol anyway. – 2:28 PM

Jon Hamm @JonMHamm
Move Thunder/Pelicans to Christmas Day you cowards – 2:20 PM

Denver Nuggets @nuggets
‘Tis the season ❄️
#WallpaperWednesday pic.twitter.com/MbqCOD0KzC2:00 PM

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