);
Playoffs 2019

NBA Playoffs 2019: San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich praises Nikola Jokic after Game 7 - 'He's magnificent'

Gregg Popovich and Nikola Jokic
(Getty Images)

Nikola Jokic recorded a triple-double (21 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists) in the Nuggets' series-clinching Game 7 victory, to advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in a decade.

When asked about Jokic's performance in the postgame press conference, San Antonio Spurs' head coach Gregg Popovich kept it short:

"He's magnificent. I'll just leave it at that."

Jokic joined the likes of LeBron James and Magic Johnson to record multiple triple-doubles in their first playoff run, and his head coach Michael Malone was all praise for the Serbian's poise and leadership in such a crucial game:

"It speaks to Nikola's greatness. It speaks to him never being afraid of the moment or never being overwhelmed. Like he always says, it's just basketball. Whether it's regular season game 54 or Game 7, the end of the day, it's just basketball. That's how he approaches it. Everybody else is different. They don't have Nikola's same personality but anytime your best player has that kind of poise and leadership, that will definitely help the younger guys out.

"When things aren't going their way, they look to him and they see calmness under pressure and under diress. I think that's a great thing to have. That's how leadership is shown in many different ways and that's why Nikola is a leader for our team."

James Worthy in 1988 (36 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists) is the only player to record a triple-double in a Game 7 and exceed Nikola's totals of 21, 15 and 10.

However, Jokic wasn't too focused on the numbers, rather getting the win and advancing to the second round.

"The team expected something of me, so I was just trying to go out there and play my best basketball possible. Is it something I live for - No. It's just really good stats."

After playing a grueling seven-game series, the Nuggets don't have a lot of time to celebrate as their second-round matchup with their division rivals, the Portland Trail Blazers, tips off in a couple of days.

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