Nikola Jokic, center for the Denver Nuggets, may have come in second place for MVP behind Joel Embiid, but he is demonstrating that he deserved the prize just as much. Jokic recorded one of the most impressive individual performances in NBA playoff history in Game 3 against the Phoenix Suns.
After 39 minutes of action, Jokic recorded his tenth career postseason triple-double with 30 points, 17 rebounds, and 17 assists. As a result, he now shares the record for most by a center with the great Wilt Chamberlain. While no one else has more than one, Bill Russell has three triple-doubles.
Most playoff triple-doubles by a center:
9 — Nikola Jokic
9 — Wilt Chamberlain
Nobody else has more than three. pic.twitter.com/OapHx3Gqp1
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 6, 2023
Jokic, unlike Chamberlain and Russell, who both required 160 postseason games to earn their ninth triple-doubles, did so in just 55. By scoring 25 points, dishing out 15 assists, and grabbing 15 boards in the most recent playoff game, Jokic became the first player in NBA history to accomplish all three of those feats.
In 2020-21, Jokic had 19 triple-doubles, putting him ahead of former San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray, who had 13. Even more impressively, Jokic had 29 triple-doubles this season, more than twice as many as runner-up Domantas Sabonis’s 14.
After tonight’s incredible performance, Jokic now has nine triple-doubles in NBA postseason history, putting him in sixth place. Before the playoffs are done, he may have more assists than the fourth-ranked Jason Kidd (11) and the third-ranked Russell Westbrook (12). Draymond Green, a forward for the Golden State Warriors, has eleven triple-doubles and is Jokic’s sole potential rival.
Nikola Jokic and his Historic Triple-Double Performance in Game 3 of NBA Playoffs
Nikola Jokic tied Wilt Chamberlain for the most postseason triple-doubles by a center with 30 points, 17 rebounds, and 17 assists in Game 3 against the Phoenix Suns. He did something no other NBA player had done before: score at least 25 points, grab at least 15 rebounds, and dish out at least 15 assists in a playoff game. When compared to Chamberlain’s 19, Jokic’s 17 assists in this playoff game are the highest by a center since 1967.
Nikola Jokic had more than twice as many triple-doubles as the next-best player, Domantas Sabonis, with 29 this season. A no-look dime to Bruce Brown and a precise bounce pass to Michael Porter Jr. were just two examples of his mesmerizing passing. Even though Kevin Durant and Devin Booker combined for 86 points, the Phoenix Suns prevailed thanks to a monster performance from Nikola Jokic.