The Joker schooled everyone down in the Big Easy on Wednesday night. Nikola Jokic unleashed a 39-point triple-double for the Denver Nuggets in a thrilling 120-114 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in overtime.
Jokic scored 11 out of the Nuggets’ 14 points in overtime and outgunned the Pelicans 11-9 in the extra frame.
“He’s one of the better clutch players in the NBA in the last five years, and tonight we saw many more examples of that,” said head coach Michael Malone.
Jokic finished the night with 39 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists in 37 minutes of action. He whiffed from 3-point range with a 0-for-3 clip, but shot an insanely efficient 17-for-20 from inside the arc. During his career with the Nuggets, Jokic notched a triple-double 61 times. Last night marked the fourth triple-double of the season for Jokic.
“It felt good, the team believed in me,” said Jokic. “Coach drew a couple plays for me. The ball went in and we just kept rolling. Bottom line, they really trust me and I’m really comfortable taking shots in those situations.”
With a season-high 39 points, Jokic scored at least 30 points in four of his last seven games, or ever since word got out that Michael Porter will miss the remainder of the season due to back surgery.
It’s been a one-man show for the Nuggets without Porter and Jamal Murray, who won’t be ready to return to action this season after blowing out his ACL last April. Jokic averages 26.3 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game this season. He’s sixth in the NBA in scoring, second in rebounding, and ranked #1 with a 34.07 PER rating.
Jokic, the reigning NBA MVP, is only +1500 odds to win the award in back-to-back seasons. Steph Curry is the current MVP betting favorite at +140 odds, according to DraftKings.
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