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The Last Time Someone Had The Joker’s Historic Stat Line…
Oscar Robertson and Wilt Chamberlain were running the NBA.
Nikola Jokic, once again, showed the basketball universe why he will go down as one of the greatest centers to play the game.
On Sunday, Dec. 18, he put up a historic stat line of 40 points, 27 rebounds, 10 assists, and 2 steals in a win against the Charlotte Hornets.
The Joker did a little bit of everything -as you can tell from his numbers. But what I enjoyed watching him do most was dishing the ball, something that his coach, Mike Malone, also admires about him.
“I didn’t know it was a 40-27-10 night but I knew he was having another Nikola Jokic stellar performance, efficient,” Malone said. “And it’s not just about Nikola. It’s about his ability to make every one of his teammates better. Yeah, Nikola is a generational talent.”
(Luckily, his assists were heavily shown in this highlight, so here ya go.)
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With this line, he joins just Wilt Chamberlain (he did it four times), who last achieved it in 1968.
This was way back when the Seattle SuperSonics and San Diego Rockets were rookie (or new expansion) teams. It was also back when Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, and Walt Frazier were rookies.
It was also when the Hawks played their last season in St. Louis, before moving to Atlanta. And, interestingly enough, it was also the year that Gary Payton, a SuperSonics legend, was born.
Anywhoo, “Wilt the Stilt” held this clinic during a home game against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 18, when he scored 53 points, grabbed 32 rebounds, and dished 14 assists.
Blocks and steals weren’t recorded back then but I’m sure he had a few of those, too.
After the Nuggets-Hornets game, Jokic said that he wasn’t trying to stack his rebounds as he grabbed a career-high of 27. He was just in the right positions and was playing good defence.
“To be honest, I think it’s because of our defence and I was just in the right spot to rebound the ball,” Jokic said. “It’s not that I was grabbing for them or whatever, chasing for them. It just happened, you know? I wish it could be every night, to be honest.”
Jokic, like his MVP seasons, is playing fantastically in 2022-23. And as a result, the Nuggets are also doing well.
Denver is currently second in the Western Conference with 18 wins and 11 losses.
Let’s hope he can continue to produce like he has been and keeps making his teammates better so that he can have the same fate as Wilt back in ‘68 -being an MVP for the third consecutive time.