Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic became the first NBA player since Oscar Robertson in the 1964-65 season to record at least 26 points, 18 rebounds, and 16 assists in a single game, during Sunday’s 130-101 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The six-time All-Star ended his outing with 26 points, 18 rebounds, 16 assists, and a steal in 34 minutes of action. He finished 11-of-18 (61.1%) shooting from the field and 3-of-5 (60%) at the free throw line. It was his 61st double-double and 23rd triple-double of the season as well.

Per a few NBA betting sites, Jokic remains the front-runner to win his third MVP award. Sportsbooks are still showing Luka Doncic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the top three.

“He’s one of the most gifted scorers in this league and he doesn’t want to score,” said Reggie Jackson, who put up 19 points on 6-of-10 (60%) shooting from the floor and five 3-pointers. “He wants to pass the ball and play the right way, which makes him extremely hard to guard.”

Of course, Jokic registered the triple-double with a lob pass to Aaron Gordon to give the Nuggets an 85-66 lead with 5:04 left in the third and found Jackson open for a behind-the-back pass for a layup.

“If you play the right way, you always got a chance to get a shot,” Jackson added about Jokic. “He’s a supernova; he’s the brightest star. Honestly, he’s the sun. Everything revolves around him.”

Denver Nuggets star and MVP favorite Nikola Jokic trails only Domantas Sabonis in triple-doubles

More importantly, the Nuggets clinched a playoff berth with the win Sunday. Denver entered the matchup a half-game behind the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Last month, Jokic notched the NBA’s ninth 35-point triple-double with at least five steals in Denver’s 125-119 win over the Toronto Raptors on March 11.

The Nuggets star amassed 35 points, 17 rebounds, 12 assists, six steals, and two blocks in 38 minutes of action. Not to mention, he finished 14-of-26 (53.8%) shooting from the field and made all six free throws.

Furthermore, Jokic trails just Domantas Sabonis (26) in triple-doubles this season. Doncic is third with 19, followed by Giannis Antetokounmpo (9), Josh Hart (6), Scottie Barnes (4), LeBron James (4), Bam Adebayo (2), Anthony Davis (2), Joel Embiid (2), and other stars.

Through 72 games (all starts) this season, Jokic is averaging 26.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 1.3 steals, and 34.5 minutes per game while shooting 57.9% from the floor and 34.6% from downtown.

Additionally, the 6-foot-11 center leads the NBA in player efficiency rating (30.9), win shares (15.4), box plus/minus (13.3), defensive box plus/minus (4.2), and value over replacement player (9.7).

Denver hosts the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night.


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