Michael Malone teases Nikola Jokic for not getting a triple-double in Game 4 win

2023-06-10T14:09:02+00:00 2023-06-10T14:56:39+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

10/Jun/23 14:09


Michael Malone gave everyone his flowers after the Denver Nuggets completed the trip in Miami with two wins in two games.

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

We have come to a point where Denver Nuggets superstar center Nikola Jokic missing the triple-double is an unusual event. That’s perhaps why his coach Michael Malone jokingly complained to him about that following the Game 4 win over the Miami Heat.

“Little disappointed you didn’t get a triple-double tonight,” Malone told Jokic during his locker room speech. “But great job, 23 [points] and 12 [rebounds],” he added and then gave the Serbian big man the Defensive Player of the Game chain.

Jokic had three steals and three blocks, apart from his 23 points, 12 rebounds and four assists as the Nuggets beat the Heat 108 – 95 to come on win away from their championship title. This number of dimes dropped his playoff average from 10.1 to 9.8 and now he’s not averaging a triple-double for the first time since the Western Conference quarterfinals.

Ahead of Game 5 and possibly the last game in the series, Jokic has playoffs-high 30.1 points (on 55.3 percent field goal shooting), 13.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists. No player ever in NBA history has finished a postseason run as the leader in all these three categories.

While Jokic didn’t send many assists to his teammates this time, Jamal Murray assumed the bulk of playmaking duties, delivering 12 assists with no turnovers. He also scored 15.

“Getting blitzed, getting double-teamed, making the right play… hell of a job,” Malone said in praise of Murray’s performance.

Malone gave everyone his flowers and that also included Aaron Gordon and Bruce Brown. Gordon notched a game-high 27 points plus seven rebounds and six assists apart from putting on a lot of work on defense, while Brown scored 21 points off the bench, emerging as a protagonist in the final period.

“21 points, 11 in the fourth quarter and big play after big play,” Malone said on Brown. “Aaron Gordon,” Malone continued. “27, 7 and 6, all night long doing it on both ends on a high level. Way to step up.”