Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic joins Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson on exclusive list after win over Sixers
It wasn’t the heavyweight fight everyone expected when the Philadelphia 76ers traveled to the Denver Nuggets Monday night, with both Joel Embiid and James Harden injured. That didn’t stop Nikola Jokic from writing Denver’s 116-111 home win in the history books.
After 25 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists, Jokic joined Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson the only other player in NBA history to total more than 10 games in a season with at least 20 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. What’s even crazier about Jokic’s Monday night stats is that he hit a triple-double before the fourth quarter even started. Jokic’s 10 games this season with a 20-15-10 statistic is also more than the rest of the league combined (six).
When asked after the game how he would rate his triple-double, Jokic replied, always a man of few words when it came to his performance. said with a shrug“I think it was good. We won the game so it was good.”
“Good” is certainly an understatement. Jokic hosted a masterclass against the Sixers. With no Embiid in the lineup, Jokic scored with ease in the paint, and with no rim guard down below, he was able to feed guys cutting to the basket for highlight reel finishes like this one Bruce Brown threw:
But in the third quarter, Jokic really showed why he’s the two-time reigning MVP and a contender to win the award again this season. After a first half that saw the Serbian big man take a back seat in terms of goals, Jokic rattled off 14 points in the third quarter to extend Denver’s lead to 22 points. He took advantage of mismatches when smaller defenders like Tyrese Maxey or De’Anthony Melton tried their best to contain him under the basket.
He also showed the tiny bit of speed he possesses to pass a slacking PJ Tucker for that easy bucket.
It’s safe to say that Tucker didn’t expect Jokic to get past him so quickly.
Though the Nuggets nearly squandered a 22-point lead by the end of the fourth quarter, Denver managed to carve out a win and improve their season record to 51-24. For Jokic, it was just the latest performance to bolster his MVP case as he appears to be the first player since Larry Bird to win the award three years in a row.
https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/nuggets-nikola-jokic-joins-wilt-chamberlain-oscar-robertson-on-exclusive-list-after-win-vs-sixers/ Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic joins Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson on exclusive list after win over Sixers