Nikola Jokic Passes Wilt Chamberlain for 2nd-Most Assists by Center in NBA History

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Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic Passes Wilt Chamberlain for 2nd-Most Assists by Center in NBA History

Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic passed Wilt Chamberlain for the second-most assists by a center in NBA history, in Wednesday night’s 116-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jokic, 29, has dished out 4,650 assists through 673 games (632 starts) across his nine-year career. Chamberlain recorded 4,643 dimes in 1,045 games of his 14-year career.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is No. 1 on the NBA’s all-time list with 5,660. The NBA Hall of Famer set the mark in 1,560 games of his 20-year career. Jokic is still on pace to pass the Los Angeles Lakers legend.

Per multiple NBA betting sites, Jokic remains the odds-on favorite to win his third MVP award. Sportsbooks show Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic in the top three.

Furthermore, Jokic’s 200-game streak of three or more assists finally came to an end in a 115-112 victory against the Wolves on March 19. His assist streak started on Nov. 8, 2021, against the Miami Heat.

Jokic posted 35 points, 16 rebounds, and just two assists in 37 minutes of action at Minnesota. His assist streak lasted two years, four months, and 11 days. That’s a span of 862 days.

His 200-game streak included only regular-season games. However, if Jokic’s 25 playoff appearances since 2022 are factored in, his run lasted a total of 225 games.

The 6-foot-11 center dished out at least three assists in all 20 playoff games last season.

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic posted his 20th career 40-point game, 66th double-double this season

In Denver’s victory against Minnesota on Wednesday night, Jokic amassed 41 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, and three steals in 38 minutes played. He finished 16-of-20 (80%) shooting from the field.

Jokic registered his 20th career 40-point game, and he did it against the league’s top defender, Rudy Gobert, along with Naz Reid. The six-time All-Star helped the Nuggets outscore the Wolves 33-27 in the final frame.

“Nikola always embraces the physicality. He never shies away from it,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “Rudy Gobert is going to be a Hall-of-Fame player one day.

“Rudy Gobert is going to be regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation. And it just speaks to how great Nikola is. I don’t think anybody in the NBA can guard Nikola 1-on-1.”

Through 77 games (all starts) this season, Jokic is averaging 26.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 1.3 steals, and 34.6 minutes per game while shooting 58.1% from the floor and 35.8% from 3-point range.

The Nuggets (56-24) took a one-game lead over Minnesota and the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were both 55-25 in the West. OKC pummeled the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night, winning 127-89 to stay within range of the conference’s top seed.