Nuggets center Nikola Jokić to miss second game this season due to lower back pain

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić will not play Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

For only the second time this season, Nikola Jokić won't play in a game for the Denver Nuggets.

The All-NBA center is missing the Nuggets' game Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to lower back pain, the team announced.

Jokić missed his only other game this season Nov. 27, also due to back pain. Denver defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 113-104 on the road without him.

Wednesday's matchup is pivotal, as a half-game separates the two teams in the Northwest Division. The Nuggets (33-15) are less than a game behind the division-leading Minnesota Timberwolves (33-14), and the Thunder (32-15) need a win to trim their deficit.

Without Jokić on the floor, Denver will be missing his 26.3 points, 12.1 rebounds and nine assists per game. The latter two averages rank third and fourth in the NBA, respectively.

On Monday, in a 113-107 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, Jokić recorded 25 points, 16 rebounds and 12 assists.

This is the fourth and final game between Oklahoma City and Denver this season. The Nuggets are 1-2 in the season series.