Nikola Jokic landed another statement performance against the New York Knicks, racking up 32 points to go along with 12 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks in just 29 minutes.
The individual effort sparked the Denver Nuggets to a blow out 113-97 win of the surging Knicks, with Jokic clearly stamping his authority on the game in the first quarter.
It was a simply astonishing opening 12 minutes that set up the game for Denver, with Jokic outscoring the Knicks 24-12 on his own. The 24 points were accompanied by six rebounds and two blocks on 8-for-9 shooting from the field.
Perhaps the most entertaining aspect of the early outburst was four dunks, yes that's right, FOUR!
Air Serbia, cleared for takeoff! pic.twitter.com/fV7aDvKl4y- Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) May 6, 2021
The four throwdowns take Jokic's tally to 46 for the season, which is quite remarkable when you look at his career numbers on dunks (via Bball ref).
Registering only 34 dunks between 2018-20, Jokic has blown the numbers out of the water, setting the limited number of Nuggets' fans alight with joy on every display of athleticism.
"It was tiger dunks," Jokic told reporters postgame, making claws with his hands to illustrate what he meant. While it's unlcear what he actually meant, it was a hilarious moment all the same and Denver fans would certainly love to see more 'tiger dunks' in the future.
We'll leave you with this...- Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) May 6, 2021
Goodnight, Nuggets Nation. pic.twitter.com/00jeSYG2Ek
Averaging 26.4 points, 10.9 rebounds and 8.4 assists per game while not missing a single appearance this season, Jokic is steamrolling his way to his first MVP award, with new teammate Austin Rivers approving of the campaign.
"He's the MVP. He's the MVP. He's the MVP, yeah, for sure," Rivers said in an on court interview postgame.
Rivers himself played a huge part in the win pouring in 25 points against his old club, while rising star Michael Porter Jr. chipped in with 17. The dominant performance was the latest in an impressive run since losing star guard Jamal Murray to an ACL tear. With many suspecting the Nuggets title hopes dashed with the injury, Denver are now 10-2 since Murray went down and sit in the third seed in the Western Conference with a 44-22 record.
Jokic has this year's MVP locked up, but the real question nobody has asked is whether or not he has his eyes set on the 2022 dunk contest.
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