Nuggets coach Michael Malone on Game 3 effort by Jokic, Murray: ‘By far, their greatest performance as a duo’

We independently review everything we recommend based on our strict editorial guidelines. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn More
Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone on Game 3 effort by Jokic, Murray By far, their greatest performance as a duo

Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone admired the Game 3 outings of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray in Wednesday night’s 109-94 win over the Miami Heat in the 2023 NBA Finals. Jokic and Murray became the first teammates in NBA history to each record a 30-point triple-double in the same game (regular season or playoffs).

“I’ve been with Nikola [Jokic] for eight [years] and Jamal [Murray] for seven years now,” Malone said. “We’ve had some pretty good moments. But not in the NBA Finals. … By far, their greatest performance as a duo in their seven years together.”

Referring to a couple of NBA betting sites, Jokic remains the favorite to win Finals MVP. Sportsbooks show Murray with third-shortest odds to win the award, trailing Heat forward Jimmy Butler.

In the Nuggets’ 109-94 win over Miami in Game 3, Jokic finished with 32 points, 21 rebounds, 10 assists, and two blocks in 44 minutes of action. He also shot 12-of-21 (57.1%) from the floor and 7-of-8 (87.5%) at the foul line.

Murray logged his first playoff career triple-double in Game 3. The sixth-year guard amassed 34 points, 10 boards, 10 assists, and one steal in 45 minutes played. Of course, the Kentucky product shot 12-of-22 (54.5%) from the field and knocked down three 3-pointers as well.

Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone hopes Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray can carry over their Game 3 energy to the remainder of the series

“That’s what champions do,” Michael Malone said of Murray’s rebounding in Game 3. “That’s what warriors do. They battled back. … I felt his presence all day long. Forget the stats for a second.

“I felt Jamal’s presence, his energy, and he was here in the moment. For him and Nikola to do what they did tonight in a game that we needed to take, regain home-court advantage of the series, was special to watch.”

One thing is certain: Nikola Jokic cares more about winning his first NBA championship than setting playoff records. “I don’t know if it’s the best,” the two-time MVP said when asked if Game 3 was the duo’s greatest performance. “I don’t know. We’re just trying to win a game right now. We can think about that later.”

Through 18 appearances this postseason, Nikola Jokic is averaging 30.5 points, 13.4 rebounds, 10.1 assists, 1.0 steal, and 39.4 minutes per game. The five-time All-Star is also shooting 54.6% from the floor and 47% outside the arc.

As for Jamal Murray, the guard is averaging 27.4 points, 5.7 boards, 6.8 assists, 1.6 steals, and 39.7 minutes per game through 18 starts these playoffs. To add to the aforementioned statistics, the 26-year-old is shooting 48.4% from the field and 39.6% from downtown.

Game 4 is Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET. Sportsbooks show the Nuggets as 3-point favorites at Kaseya Center.

NBA Betting Content You May Like