Nikola Jokic’s MVP effort leads Nuggets on eve of announcement

Nikola Jokic, the reigning back-to-back Most Valuable Player (MVP), has delivered another MVP performance, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 97-87 victory in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Phoenix Suns. Jokic recorded 39 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, and two steals to give Denver a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. With the MVP announcement looming, Jokic reiterated his disinterest in the award, saying he is fully focused on the Suns.

Jokic’s outburst drew accolades from his teammates, with shooting guard Jamal Murray praising his performance and calling him a “perfect example of a two-time, potentially three-time MVP.” Murray described Jokic’s game as “dominating down low and from 3, both ways,” saying he remained aggressive throughout the game and picked up everybody’s slack. Head coach Michael Malone also praised Jokic’s consistency, excellence, and ability to find different ways to beat his opponents.

If Jokic wins a third-straight MVP award, he would join an exclusive group of Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, and Bill Russell. However, Jokic said he cannot think about the award as he cannot control it. Instead, he and the Nuggets are focused on winning their first championship in franchise history. Malone affirmed his team’s priority, saying if Jokic does not repeat as MVP, he would still hug his star center and “tell him he’s the MVP in my eyes.” Jokic himself said he is looking forward to relaxing in the pool when the MVP award is announced.

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