Nikola Jokic Joins Chris Paul as Only NBA Players With This Playoff Record

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Nikola Jokic Joins Chris Paul as Only NBA Players to Record 40+ Points, 10+ Assists With 0 Turnovers In Playoff Game

Denver Nuggets center and three-time MVP Nikola Jokic joined Chris Paul on Tuesday night as the only NBA players to record at least 40 points and 10 assists in a playoff game without a turnover, in Denver’s 112-97 Game 5 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference semifinals.

Paul had 41 points, 10 assists, and zero turnovers in the Houston Rockets‘ 112-102 Game 5 victory against the Utah Jazz in the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs. During Tuesday’s home game at Ball Arena, Jokic was three rebounds shy of posting a playoff triple-double with zero turnovers.

“He’s amazing, just the way he picks apart the game and reads the game and trusts his teammates,” Jamal Murray said of Jokic. “I’m guessing that for the big fella getting the trophy tonight probably motivated him a little bit. Just being at home was a lot of fun, the place was rocking, kind of felt the energy and he definitely had it going.”

Besides Paul, the only other players to put up at least 30 points and 10 assists without a turnover in a playoff game were Baron Davis (April 22, 2002), Kevin Johnson (April 30, 1989), and Larry Bird (May 21, 1987).

Nikola Jokic is the first NBA player to score 16 points on just seven shots, dish out four assists in a single playoff quarter

During the fourth quarter, Jokic hit a 3-pointer at the shot clock buzzer over Gobert, who recently won his fourth NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, to make it a 14-point cushion with just over three minutes left. Denver led by as many as 18 points.

In the third quarter alone, Jokic logged 16 points on seven shots and added four assists. He is the only player with so many points on so few shots and so many assists in a playoff quarter.

Additionally, although Jokic accepted his third MVP award from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver before tipoff, the bigger storyline was how he managed to shut down Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards.

“I just laugh. That’s all I can do,” said Edwards, who scored just 18 points on 5-of-15 (33.3%) shooting from the field, 1-of-5 (20%) from 3-point range, and 7-of-8 (87.5%) at the foul line.

“I can’t be mad,” Edwards added. “He’s good, man. I think I said that after Game 1 when we won, and Game 2, he’s the MVP. He’s the best player in NBA. He showed it the last three games, three games in a row. He was special tonight. I’ve got to give him his flowers. He was that guy tonight.”

Denver outscored Minnesota 62-48 in the paint.

The Timberwolves host Game 6 on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET.