Nikola Jokic blocks Zion Williamson to secure win for Nuggets

Nikola Jokic may have gotten away with a blatant foul at the end of the game, but he secured the win for the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.

Jokic, after dropping 32 points, came up with a huge block and sent Zion Williamson sprawling to the floor to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 114-112 win over the New Orleans Pelicans at Ball Arena.

Nikola Jokic blocks Zion Williamson at the rim

Trailing by two points as the clock ticked down, Zion Williamson went up at the rim for a layup to try and tie the game up — which likely would’ve forced overtime.

He didn’t account for Jokic.

The Nuggets big man came up from behind and expertly swatted the ball out of his hands, which sent Williamson to the floor and the ball right into PJ Dozier’s hands.

Upon first looks, the block looked perfect and Jokic wasn’t called for a foul.

Other angles of that play, however, reveal what looked like a very clear foul. Before he made contact with the ball, Jokic hit Williamson’s right arm.

Either way, no foul was called on the court. The Nuggets got the win. 

Despite the no-call, Williamson — who led New Orleans with 21 points — didn’t seem to take it too hard.

“I’ve got to earn my respect,” Williamson said, via The Athletic’s Will Guillory. “I’m only in year two. I’ve got to get a couple more years under my belt and hopefully things change with that.”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone was a lot more focused on how his team nearly fell apart at the end than he was the final play. Denver, after leading handily for most of the contest, ended the night on the wrong side of a 13-4 run in the final minute. 

“Some of the turnovers were egregious in nature. But one thing, one thought, comes to mind for me — and I’m not using any excuses,” Malone said, via AltitudeTV. “We held on for the win, which is great … The game should never have been that close. We all realize that, and we all have to be better.”

Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets reacts as he walks towards the locker room after their win against the New Orleans Pelicans at Ball Arena on April 28, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images)

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