By Stefan Djordjevic / email@example.com
Nikola Jokic received his MVP trophy prior to Game 3 against the Phoenix Suns and went on to display a historic triple-double but his celebrations and effort were ruined by the Phoenix Suns who got a 116-102 road win.
“It was a special moment. I enjoyed the moment. I wish that my wife could be here and my parents. I had my teammates behind me because this is my trophy, but it’s because of all of them. So I need to thank them,” Jokic said.
— Eurohoops (@Eurohoopsnet) June 12, 2021
Jokic logged 32 points, 20 rebounds, and ten assists, becoming only the third player to put up a 30-20-10 performance in the playoffs. He joined the company of Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
That said, Devin Booker with 28 and Chris Paul with 27 points led the Phoenix Suns to victory and are now up 3-0 in the series. Nobody has ever come back from that deficit in the history of the league but the Nuggets keep hope, remembering their last year’s recovery from being down 3-1 twice.
If the Nuggets lose Game 4, Jokic would become the fifth MVP in league history get swept, joining Magic Johnson (1989 finals), Moses Malone (1979 first round), Abdul-Jabbar (1977 conference finals) and Wes Unseld (1969 conference semifinals).
“As far as the 3-0 deficit, yes, history is not on our side,” Malone said. “But you know what? We have rewritten history the last couple of years. When we were down 3-1 twice last year, it was never about trying to win three more games. It was about winning the next game, winning the first quarter, winning the second quarter, and that’s got to be our mindset,” coach Mike Malone said.