The Denver Nuggets and the Milwaukee Bucks faced off in what could be the NBA Finals matchup of this season. It was one of the more physical games as multiple technical fouls were assessed on both teams throughout the game. It was also a clash of the number one seeds from both conferences. The two MVP candidates both had themselves a night. Nikola Jokic came away victorious, but Giannis Antetokounmpo also shined, especially in the first half of the game. After this impressive win for the Denver Nuggets, it is easy to see why many are saying that the Serbian sensation is once again at the forefront of the MVP race.
Nikola Jokic Shows Why He is the Reigning MVP in Win Over Milwaukee
Nikola Jokic vs the Milwaukee Bucks
Jokic started off the game ready to send a message. He hit the first jump-shot of the game with a mid-range shot over Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Brook Lopez. Jokic was physical with Lopez all night as he got the Bucks’ center into foul trouble and posted him up multiple times. For once, the Joker’s willingness to bang in the paint payed off as he attempted 11 free-throws and converted 10 of them. Despite being down at the half, Jokic came out in the second half helping the team set the tone as they seized the momentum.
On the night, the Joker tallied 31 points, 11 assists, and six rebounds. Not to mention, he also shot 50.0 percent from the field and also had a box plus/minus of +19, the second-highest total on the team behind Michael Porter Jr. who had a box plus/minus of +21. Many have been claiming Jokic has been slipping in the MVP race as of late. However, tonight certainly elevated him back to the top of the conversation. Per FanDuel, the Joker still has +270 odds to take home this year’s MVP award.
Denver’s Impressive Second Half
The Denver Nuggets finally matched Milwaukee’s aggressiveness in the second half. It paid off for them as they started to get to the line more and more. The Bucks also started get more and more frustrated resulting in more technical fouls being called on them. One must remember that the Bucks were also a bit fatigued considering they were on the end of a back-to-back. In the second half, Denver outscored Milwaukee 34-19 in the third quarter and the Nuggets’ second unit was a positive for the first time in weeks. All in all, this was arguably the Nuggets’ best win of the season.