Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets recorded his fourth career playoff game with at least 30 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists, the most in NBA history, in Tuesday night’s 132-126 win in Game 1 of the 2023 Western Conference Finals. It was his sixth playoff career triple-double, the most all time.
The five-time All-Star ended his outing with 34 points, 21 rebounds, 14 assists, and two blocks in 43 minutes of action. Plus, Joker shot 12-of-17 (70.6%) from the floor and knocked down three 3-pointers.
According to a few NBA betting sites, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets hold second-shortest odds to win the championship. Sportsbooks are giving the Boston Celtics better odds to win this season’s title.
Nikola Jokic has recorded his 4th career playoff game with 30 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists, the most by any player in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/ycaGSdonRH
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 17, 2023
Nikola Jokic is also the first player in NBA playoffs history to post a 30-point triple-double on 70% shooting in consecutive games. The two-time MVP became the first player with 10 boards, five assists, and two blocks in any quarter over the last 25 years.
“That’s really offensive,” Jokic replied after a reporter made a comparison between him and LeBron James. “I’m joking. I mean, to be compared to one of the best ever — or THE best ever — I think is really cool. … We affect the game in different ways. But he’s a really good player.”
Nikola Jokic is the first player in the shot-clock era to record at least 30 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists on 70% shooting from the field in an NBA playoff game
Additionally, the Nuggets and Lakers scored a combined total of 258 points, making it the highest-scoring conference finals game that didn’t go to overtime since 1987, when the Detroit Pistons won 145-119 over the Boston Celtics.
Denver led 72-54 at halftime. Nikola Jokic outrebounded the Lakers 16-13 in the first half. The 6-foot-11 center became the only other player since Cleveland Cavaliers’ Anderson Varejao in October 2012 to outrebound an opposing team by himself in the opening quarter.
Nikola Jokic is the 1st player in the shot-clock era (since 1955) to record 30+ PTS, 20+ REB, and 10+ AST while shooting 70%+ from the field in a Playoff game. pic.twitter.com/8NSVUbYOM2
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) May 17, 2023
This was the Nuggets first Game-1 win against the Lakers since 1979. It was Denver’s first win at home of the WCF since 2009 as well. Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday night at Ball Arena, where the Nuggets are 7-0 in the playoffs and 41-7 overall, the best home record in the league.
Through 12 starts this postseason, Nikola Jokic is averaging 31 points, 13.5 rebounds, 10.1 assists, 1.0 steal, and 38.2 minutes per game. The five-time All-NBA member is also shooting 55.9% from the field and 51.2% beyond the arc.