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Jokić's 40-point masterclass propels Nuggets to 112-97 Game 5 win, 3-2 series lead

The NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year was no match for its Most Valuable Player Tuesday night in Denver.
Timberwolves Nuggets Basketball
Posted at 11:48 AM, May 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 13:48:39-04

DENVER — The NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year was no match for its Most Valuable Player Tuesday night in Denver.

Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokić poured in 40 points – including 35 through three quarters – and dished out 13 assists along with 7 rebounds en route to a 112-97 Nuggets win in Game 5.

He torched Minnesota Timberwolves big man Rudy Gobert, going 8-of-9 with Gobert as the primary defender.

Jokić finished 15-of-22 from the field, while the Nuggets as a team shot 55% on another efficient night against a Timberwolves defense that ranked No. 1 in the NBA during the regular season.

Aaron Gordon added 18 points and 10 boards for Denver. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 16, including four 3-pointers.

A six-point halftime lead for the Nuggets quickly turned into a two-point deficit in the opening minutes of the third, before Denver went on a 23-8 run to take control of the game. The Nuggets lead ballooned to as much as 18 in the fourth quarter.

Karl-Anthony Towns led the way for the Timberwolves with 23 points. Minnesota star Anthony Edwards added 18 on a pedestrian 5-of-15 shooting.

ICYMI: This fan predicted a 15-point Nuggets win live on Denver7 before Game 5

Denver became the first home team to win a game in this series. Minnesota has now lost three straight games for the first time all year.

NBA history is on Denver’s side with Tuesday’s outcome. Teams that hold a 3-2 playoff series lead have gone on to win the series 84% of the time (292 out of 347), according to Land of Basketball.

Game 6 is Thursday night in Minneapolis.


Denver Nuggets Western Conference Semifinals schedule:

  • Game 6: Nuggets @ Timberwolves, Thursday, May 16 (6:30 p.m., ESPN)
  • Game 7: Timberwolves @ Nuggets, Sunday, May 19 (TBD, TBD) *

* if necessary