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Nikola Jokic joins LeBron James as only players last 25 years with 10 points, 10 assists in any half of NBA Finals game

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Nuggets Nikola Jokic joins LeBron James as only players last 25 years with 10 points, 10 assists in any half of NBA Finals game

Nikola Jokic joined LeBron James as the only players the last 25 years to record at least 10 points and 10 assists in any half of an NBA Finals game. In the Denver Nuggets’ 104-93 win over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals, the two-time MVP recorded his ninth triple-double this postseason.

Joker finished Game 1 with 27 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists, one steal, and one block in 41 minutes of action. The five-time All-Star also shot 8-of-12 (66.7%) from the field, 1-of-2 (50%) beyond the arc, and 10-of-12 (83.3%) at the foul line.

Per a few NBA betting sites, Nikola Jokic is the top favorite to win Finals MVP. In the regular season, the eight-year veteran finished as the MVP runner-up to Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.


Moreover, Nikola Jokic is the second player in league history to lead both teams outright in points and assists in his NBA Finals debut, joining Michael Jordan in 1991. The 6-foot-11 center is also only the second player to post a triple-double in a finals debut, joining Jason Kidd in 2002 vs. the Lakers.

Of course, Jokic became the eighth player to tally a triple-double in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. No other player posted 27 or more points in a finals debut. Dave Cowens had a 25-point triple-double to open the 1976 finals.

Jamal Murray ended his Game 1 outing with 26 points, six rebounds, and 10 assists in 45 minutes played. Jokic and Murray are the second pair of teammates to each have 25 points and 10 assists in an NBA Finals game, joining Magic Johnson and James Worthy in 1987.

Nikola Jokic records ninth triple-double this postseason in Game 1 of 2023 NBA Finals, becomes only the second player to post a triple-double in a finals debut, joining Jason Kidd in 2002 vs. the Lakers

It was Murray’s sixth straight 25-point game, the longest streak of his career (regular season or playoffs). The only Nuggets with longer playoff streaks are Alex English (12) and Carmelo Anthony (7).

Through 16 starts this postseason, Nikola Jokic is averaging a triple-double. He’s logging 29.8 points, 13.1 boards, 10.5 assists, 1.1 steals, and 39 minutes per game. Plus, the Nuggets center is shooting 54.2% from the floor and 47.5% from 3-point range.

Additionally, Denver won by 11 points in Game 1, the largest win by a team making its NBA Finals debut since the 1999 Spurs. San Antonio defeated the Knicks in five games of that series. The 1947 Warriors won by 13 against the Stags, and the 1951 Royals won by 27 over the Knicks.


More importantly, Denver is 11-0 this postseason with a double-digit lead. The Nuggets had nine days off between the Western Conference Finals and NBA Finals. Therefore, quite a few fans thought the team would have showed signs of rust in Game 1.

However, the Western Conference champs won Game 1 by 11 points, shot at least 50% from floor, and two of the Nuggets’ players scored 25 or more points. Denver is the first team to accomplish all of this on nine days rest between series. Nikola Jokic remains the front-runner to win Finals MVP.


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