All time performance for the ages lifts Nuggets over Wolves in game 5

May 14, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) gestures in the third
May 14, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) gestures in the third / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody hating on Nikola Jokic after the Nuggets fell into an 0-2 hole in this series and trying to devalue his MVPs and Finals run has a lot of egg on their face right now. Jokic showed up in a big way in Minnesota in games 3 & 4 to even the series, then put the team on his back on Tuesday night in game 5.

On a night when Jokic received his third MVP award from Adam Silver, the Nuggets handled the Wolves 112-97 to take a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference Semifinal series. Jokic and his MVP reception was the story before the game, and Jokic was the story when the game was over as well.

Jokic put on a show for the ages

He was absolutely incredible, going for 40 points, 13 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block on 15/22 shooting, 8/9 from the free throw line, and 2/3 from the three-point line, all without a single turnover. But his performance went far beyond the stat line; Jokic methodically broke down the league’s best defensive and Defensive Player of the Year for 48 minutes.

Jokic dominates Gobert

He was aggressive right out of the gate, looking for his own offense and once he got it going he didn’t stop. He was aggressively targeting Rudy Gobert on switches, getting him in one-on-one matchups, and embarrassing Rudy.

Jokic had the DPOY on skates, working him on the block, beating him from the perimeter, and pushing him around all over the court. For a player who already has a Teflon resume, this was one of Jokic’s all-time greatest games.

The Joker controlling things on both ends

It was one of the most important games of his career, and he rose to the occasion and played his best; a mark of a truly legendary player. He completely dictated the pace of the game and got whatever shot he wanted at will.

In the third quarter when the Nuggets scored 38 points and pulled away for good, Jokic was at his best, playing all 12 minutes and scoring 16 points on 6/7 from the field to go along with 4 assists and 3 rebounds. In a career full of highlights, this quarter has to be right near the top.

This game and performance were a clear reminder of what a special player Jokic is. We are lucky to witness his greatness on a night-to-night basis and we should not take him for granted.