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Denver’s Jokic joins NBA greats with third MVP award

DENVER, United States, May 9 – Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has joined some of the NBA’s all-time greats by winning the league’s Most Valuable Player award for the third time.

The Serbian, who was previously named MVP in 2021 and 2022 and finished second last year, is only the ninth man to win the award three or more times.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been named MVP a record six times, Michael Jordan and Bill Russell are five-time winners, while Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James have claimed the award four times.

Jokic joins Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone as three-time winners.

“It’s a special moment that I will probably remember for the rest of my life,” said the 29-year-old Jokic. “It is – I like to say – a legacy for after (your) career.”

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander came in second in the voting and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic came in third.

Jokic averaged 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and nine assists this season and completed 25 triple-doubles.

He became only the second player to finish with more than 2,000 points, 900 rebounds and 700 assists in a regular season as the defending NBA champions finished second in the Western Conference.

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However, the Nuggets are down 2-0 against the Minnesota Timberwolves in their best-of-seven conference semifinal.

In Wednesday’s Eastern Conference semifinals, Jalen Brunson overcame an injury to power the New York Knicks’ comeback win against the Indiana Pacers.

Brunson went off in the first half with a right foot injury with his team leading 24-17 and in his absence the Knicks fell behind 73-63.

However, he returned in the third quarter and scored 24 points as the Knicks won 130–121 and took a 2–0 lead in the series.