Jokic bowed to NBA history with a rare triple-double in the Nuggets’ victory over the Lakers

January 11, 2023

Every night, Nikola Jokic seems to outperform his previous effort. The two-time defending NBA MVP is having a season deserving of the newly named Michael Jordan MVP award. With a healthy Denver Nuggets squad surrounding him, the team’s success is beginning to match his accomplishments. The big man continued this trend on Monday night as he again made history by compiling a great stat line in a 122-109 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.


With his league-leading 11th triple-double of the year, Jokic finished the game with 14 points, 16 assists, and 11 rebounds. Jokic’s performance was historic for more reasons than his triple-double; the Serbian center went 5 of 5 from the field for a perfect 100 percent shooting percentage. He made NBA history by becoming the first player to go perfect from the field and post a stat line of 10 points, ten rebounds, and 15 assists.


The first NBA player in history to finish with 10 points, ten rebounds, and 15 assists while shooting 100 percent from the field is Nikola Jokic.


“I’ve been around the league for a long time, and I know a lot of players who, if they took five shots in 35 minutes, would be furious right now,” Malone said. “Whether he fires five or 25 shots, Nikola doesn’t give a damn,”. I’ve been around many guys, but only a few like him. It just begs for another triple-double from a truly selfless superstar. “


Malone is correct to praise Jokic’s altruism. Even though he scores 25 points on average per game, he frequently sets up his teammates for success, so it’s not unusual for him to have nights like Monday where his assists exceed his points. The absurd thing is that Jokic would be fine posting enormous scoring totals. He has frequently scored over 40 and once over 50 points, but his playmaking abilities far outweigh his scoring prowess. With two fewer than his career high of 18 assists, which he achieved back in 2020, his 16 assists on Monday night are the fifth-highest total this year.


The combination of his passing and scoring efficiency is unlike anything we’ve seen in a 7-footer’s body. Compared to some of the best guards in the league, he is undoubtedly the best passing big man, and there is room for debate.


His efficiency this year, when shooting a career-high 61.6% of the field, places him at the top of small group of players who averaged over 15 shots per game and shot better than 60% of the area. Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin McHale, and Zion Williamson are the other players on that list; the latter has accomplished it twice, including this season. Jokic and O’Neal are the only players left on the list after accounting for the rebounds (10.8). Add the assists (9 points), and Jokic is all by himself on the summit, demonstrating what an exceptional player he is.

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