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Nikola Jokic first player with 43/14/8/5 on 50% FG since Larry Bird

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Nuggets Nikola Jokic first player with 43/14/8/5 on 50% FG since Larry Bird
USA Today Network

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic became the first player to record 43 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists, and five steals in a game while shooting at least 50% from the field since Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird.

In the Nuggets’ 141-128 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, the four-time All-Star posted this stat line in 33 minutes played. Also, he finished 17-of-20 (85%) shooting from the floor.

Per multiple NBA betting sites, Nikola Jokic possesses the fifth-best odds to win MVP in 2023. A few sportsbooks show greater odds for Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Of course, Jokic is the first player in NBA history to post a 43/14/8/5 stat line on 85% shooting. On Dec. 10, in Denver’s 115-110 win over the Utah Jazz, the center recorded his 80th career triple-double. He amassed 31 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists, and four blocks in 36 minutes played.

“I was rolling. Guys were finding me,” Jokic said after logging a career-high 43 points. “I played with Will [Barton] since I came here. Wes [Unseld Jr.] is a really good guy, really good friend of mine. And Monte, me and him we had a really good connection all the time when he was here.”

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is the first player with a 43/14/8/5 stat line on at least 50% field goal shooting since Larry Bird

On February 14, 1986, in the Celtics’ 120-119 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, Larry Bird finished with 47 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists, one steal, and two blocks in 49 minutes played. He shot 60.1% from the field.

Through 24 starts this season, Jokic is averaging 24.6 points, 10.3 boards, 9.0 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Plus, he’s shooting 30.5% from downtown and a career-best 63.4% from the floor.

Not to mention, the two-time MVP has logged 18 double-doubles and four triple-doubles so far this season. Last season, Jokic led the NBA with a grand total of 19 triple-doubles.

At the moment, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic leads the league with six triple-doubles. However, both Doncic and Nikola Jokic trail Jayson Tatum in MVP odds right now.

Over a quarter into the 2022-23 season, the Nuggets are 17-10 and rank third overall in the Western Conference standings. With the eight-year veteran, Denver is one of the best teams in the West.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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