NBA: Nikola Jokic has made history and sealed the Nuggets playoff bid

Denver Nuggets center Nicola Djokic (15) drives into the net against Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams (4) in the third quarter at Ball Arena.

Denver Nuggets center Nicola Djokic (15) drives into the net against Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams (4) in the third quarter at Ball Arena. Isaiah J. Downing-USA Today Sports

Nikola Jokic cut a scalp for finishing with 35 points and 16 rebounds when NBA history took over as host Denver Nuggets beat Memphis Grizzlies 122-109 on Thursday night to win a Western Conference playoff spot.

Jokic became the first NBA player to compile 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a single season. He needed 31 points to reach the milestone and came back in the fourth quarter to touch the mark.

Aaron Gordon’s 22 points, Bones Highland and Will Burton’s 16 points and Monte Maurice Nuggets’ 10 (48-33), who finished at least sixth in the West. Denver has won seven matches for the fifth time.

Desmond Benn scored 14 points, Dillon Brooks and Giere Williams scored 12, D’Antony Melton, Kyle Anderson and Brandon Clarke scored 11 and Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 10 (55-25) for Grizzlies. Second-placed Memphis dropped two straight after an 11-1 stretch.

In the first minute of the game, Jokic accidentally hit Jackson in the elbow and cut off his head. The jockey had bled profusely before bandaging, and the rest of the night he wore a red headband.

Memphis was leading 10 early on and was leading 25-16 late in the first quarter before the Nuggets took control.

Gordon started the comeback with a pair of 3-pointers and had a three-point game for a 16-0 lead that put Denver ahead.

Nuggets dragged on in seconds. Highland hit a 3-pointer, Jokic made a 14-footer and Gordon dunk as part of a 9-2 run that extended the lead to 17. Grizzlies got within 12, but Denver scored the next nine points to advance to 68. -47 70-53 On the way to the halftime edge.

Jokic started the second half with a 3-pointer, and Gordon dipped a faded jumper to turn it into a 22-point game. After getting into Memphis 18, Denver went 27-21 for 11-2, then the Joker took a 1-0 lead at 101-71.

Grizzlies dropped it to 18th in the fourth before Jokic scored six points in a row to hold Denver.

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