Jokic receives third MVP trophy, drops 40 vs Timberwolves to send Nuggets towards brink of West Finals

Published May 15, 2024, 2:30 PM ● Pao Ambat

Nikola Jokic is averaging 27.6 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 9.1 assists in the playoffs so far.

Nikola Jokic is averaging 27.6 points, 14.0 rebounds, and 9.1 assists in the playoffs so far.

The Denver crowd showered superstar Nikola Jokic with roaring applause upon receiving his third Most Valuable Player award in the last four seasons. 

 Jokic then proceeded to deliver his best game yet of the Western Conference semifinals series for the now-surging Nuggets.  

 The reigning Finals MVP scored 40 points, as the Nuggets moved just a win away from a return trip to the Western Conference Finals. This is thanks to dominating 112-97 Game 5 dub over the Minnesota Timberwolves for a 3-2 series lead. 

Jokic went ballistic in the third, dropping 16 points in the quarter alone and finished with seven rebounds, 13 assists with no turnovers.

Just a week ago, it appeared the next time the Nuggets returned home, Denver’s stay might include packing up for the summer.

Instead, the reigning champs went on the road--where they revived their championship level of play--with back-to-back wins in Games 3 and 4, following it up with their first home win in the series.

Jokic's dunk with 7:12 left in the fourth gave Denver a 98-80 lead.

After the Wolves used a mini-run to pull to 103-92, Jokic nailed a 3-pointer at the shot clock buzzer over a helpless Gobert, who recently won his fourth NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, to make it a 14-point lead, 106-92, with just three minutes left.

Aaron Gordon added 18 points and 10 boards, and Jamal Murray scored 16.

The Nuggets led by as many as 18 points and Jokic, who was presented with his third MVP trophy by commissioner Adam Silver in a pregame ceremony, was all business from the get-go.

Meanwhile, Karl Anthony-Towns led the Wolves with 23 points and Rudy Gobert scored 18 while Anthony Edwards, who was averaging 33.3 points in the first four games of the series, had 18 points on 5-of-15 shooting.

With the loss, Minnesota suffered their first three-game losing skid in the season and are now 6-3 in the playoffs after winning the first six.

The Timberwolves played without starting point guard Mike Conley, who had a sore right Achilles. Nickeil Alexander-Walker started in his spot and had 14 points and five assists.

Game 6 of this series returns to Minneapolis on May 17, Friday, at 8:30 a.m. It will air LIVE on One Sports and the Pilipinas Live app.