Nikola Jokic torches DPOY to lead Nuggets past Wolves in Game 5

    Nikola Jokic had a simple strategy for Game 5: Go right at the Defensive Player of the Year.

    Rudy Gobert won his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award this season, but he had no answer for Denver’s three-time MVP in the Nuggets’ 112-97 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. Jokic accepted his MVP award before the game, then went out and scored 40 points on 15-for-22 shooting, adding 13 assists and seven rebounds while committing zero turnovers. 

    He seemed to take the matchup with Gobert personally in Game 5, especially in the third quarter, when he went at Gobert repeatedly.

    In the last four minutes of the quarter, Jokic scored 10 points and Gobert picked up three personal fouls. Two of the fouls led to three-point plays for Jokic, and the third happened when Gobert fouled Aaron Gordon to keep him from dunking off a Jokic dime.

    Jokic was relentless, scoring through Gobert, driving past Gobert and shooting over Gobert from deep.

    Gordon finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, along with five assists. He was the beneficiary of a few of Jokic’s impressive assists.

    So was Jamal Murray, who shot 7-for-14, same as Gordon, and finished with 16 points.

    The impressive defensive performance in Game 5 came from the Nuggets, who focused their energy, strategy and double-teams on shutting down Anthony Edwards. They held the Wolves phenom to 18 points on 5-for-15 shooting with four turnovers. That’s the same total as Gobert had on perfect 7-for-7 shooting.

    Denver solved Gobert, but it also solved a long-standing problem of which bench players could be trusted. Christian Braun played 28 minutes and stayed on the floor in crunch time, after logging 25 minutes and all of crunch time in Game 4. He finished with 10 points, two blocks and a steal.

    The Nuggets became the first team to win a home game in the series, and the first team to deal the Timberwolves three straight losses in the 2023-24 season. If they make it four straight, they’re going back to the conference finals.

    Source link

    Related articles



    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Share article

    Latest articles


    Subscribe to stay updated.