Nikola Jokic created a little history in Game 3 for the Denver Nuggets. Unfortunately, it still wasn't enough to get the win.
The newly crowned MVP tallied 32 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA playoff history to post a 30/20/10 game.
With star teammate Jamal Murray out of the lineup for the season, Jokic has picked up all of the slack in the postseason, with the Nuggets struggling to find contributors to come along for the ride.
Over the last two games in the series Jokic has tallied 56 points on 46 shots, while the other four Denver starters have combined for 56 points on 65 shots.
"Jokic had 20 rebounds!" Phoenix big man Deandre Ayton said postgame.
"That's 10 offensive rebounds and 10 defensive, that's insane, yeah that's insane and 10 assists. I did not know that, that's amazing. Yep, he's the MVP."
"Yep, he the MVP." 😂@DeandreAyton is amazed by Nikola Jokic's statline. #ThatsGame pic.twitter.com/pH1Ra1zb9T- NBA (@NBA) June 12, 2021
A longtime favourite to win the award, Jokic was finally presented with the trophy in front of adoring fans pregame, with the night ending in another disappointing loss that leaves the Nuggets trailing 3-0 in the series.
Jokic applauded the crowd as he left the floor, appreciative of the large turnout for the game at Ball Arena.
"I tried my best. I didn't want to lose, you know?," Jokic said. "I tried to leave everything out on the floor."
What a moment. #MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/QcC70vEgYm- Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) June 12, 2021
Michael Malone praised the effort of his team, while also lamenting their ability to take care of the ball, with 14 turnovers contributing to 20 Phoenix points down the other end.
No stranger to postseason comebacks, the Nuggets will now attempt to become the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a series on the 143rd attempt.
"We have re-written history a couple times," Malone said.
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