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NBA playoffs: Nikola Jokić erupts for 40 points as Denver Nuggets take 3-2 series lead over Minnesota Timberwolves



NBA playoffs: Nikola Jokić erupts for 40 points as Denver Nuggets take 3-2 series lead over Minnesota Timberwolves


Newly topped three-time NBA Most Precious Participant (MVP) Nikola Jokić placed on a present and proved why he’s the rightful recipient of the award within the Denver Nuggets’ 112-97 playoff victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.

The Serbian large man, who obtained his third MVP trophy forward of the sport, registered 40 factors, 13 assists – with zero turnovers – and 7 rebounds to elevate Denver to a 3-2 collection lead, its first on this Western Convention semifinal.

Jokić’s dissection of Minnesota is all of the extra spectacular given it was towards the NBA’s finest protection and the league’s newly topped four-time Defensive Participant of the 12 months, Rudy Gobert.

So good was Jokić’s efficiency that teammates and opponents alike had been lavishing him with reward after the sport.

Nuggets ahead Aaron Gordon referred to as Jokić’s efficiency “unbelievable.”

“He performed wonderful,” he advised reporters, per ESPN. “The three-time MVP simply dominated the whole recreation, in each facet of it. Astounding. That was ridiculous.”

Minnesota’s rising celebrity Anthony Edwards stated he “didn’t see any weaknesses” within the staff’s protection, however Jokić “confirmed that he’s the MVP.”

“I simply chuckle,” Edwards stated. “That’s all I can do. I can’t be mad, as a result of he’s good, man. I feel I stated that after Sport 1 after we gained, and Sport 2. He’s the MVP. He’s the perfect participant within the NBA, he confirmed it the final three video games, three video games in a row. He did it tonight.

“He was particular tonight. I bought to present him his flowers. I don’t know what we had been presupposed to do.”

Gordon contributed with 18 factors, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, nevertheless it was a quieter night time for Jokić’s operating mate Jamal Murray, who put up 16 factors and 4 assists within the win.

For the Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Cities scored a team-high 23 factors to go together with six rebounds and 4 assists, whereas Edwards was held to only 18 factors on 5-for-15 taking pictures.

After dropping the primary two video games within the collection at house, defending champions Denver have roared again with three straight wins and might e-book their spot within the Western Convention finals with a win in Minneapolis on Thursday.

Solely 5 groups in NBA historical past have come again to win a best-of-seven collection when dropping the primary two at house.

“Nikola was named MVP after that Sport 2 loss and I feel the final three video games, he has proven everyone why he’s arguably the most effective gamers to play this recreation,” Denver head coach Michael Malone added.

Jalen Brunson continued his exemplary playoff type with a 44-point efficiency to steer the New York Knicks to a blowout 121-91 win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.

The Knicks now lead the collection 3-2 and a win in Indianapolis in Sport 6 on Friday night time will e-book the franchise’s place in its first Japanese Convention finals since 2000.

Brunson, who bounced again impressively after a poor displaying in Sport 4, additionally added seven assists and 4 rebounds. He has now scored at the very least 40 factors in 5 video games on this 12 months’s playoffs to date, probably the most of any participant since LeBron James had eight within the 2018 postseason, per ESPN.

Pascal Siakam scored a staff excessive 22 factors for the Pacers, nevertheless it was a quiet night time for star guard Tyrese Haliburton, who scored 13 factors and took solely 9 photographs all recreation.

The house staff has gained each recreation on this collection thus far, so Indiana will doubtless be feeling assured it may prolong this semifinal to a Sport 7.

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