Nuggets' Nikola Jokic leaves game with sprained left ankle

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Teammate Richard Jefferson had to explain why. He tried to leave the court before his foul shots, but returned after trainers and teammates apparently explained to him that he wouldn't be allowed to play on if he didn't shoot them, per National Basketball Association rules. Jokic took his spot on the line and hit both shots. "Tonight we saw Thrill Barton", Malone said after the game. "If he can't go, so what?"

A week ago in Houston, Jokic rolled his left ankle in similar fashion, but did not miss time.

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Jokic entered the game leading the Nuggets in scoring (15.9 points per game), rebounding (11.0) and assists (4.6). He finished the first half with eight points and four assists. Chicago's 68 points at intermission tied a season high for the first half.

But less than two weeks after losing high-priced free-agent acquisition Paul Millsap for several months with torn ligaments in his left wrist, the Nuggets were forced to consider what might be without Jokic.

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Nuggets: F Wilson Chandler was out for the second straight game with low back soreness. "Just get the job done".

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