Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who have combined to win the past four NBA MVP awards, had a rare summer encounter on Thursday, August 25 (Friday, August 26, Manila time) in international competition.
Jokic led host Serbia to a 100-94 overtime victory over Antetokounmpo’s native Greece in a FIBA World Cup qualifying game in Belgrade.
Antetokounmpo scored 40 points in 40 minutes, becoming the first player in history to hit 40 in a European qualifier game. He added 8 rebounds and 5 assists. However, it wasn’t enough to prevent Jokic’s team from sealing the victory.
Jokic finished with 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting along with 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. He knocked down a turnaround three-pointer off one leg over Antetokounmpo late in the game to put Serbia up by 8, 87-79.
Greece managed to force overtime, but Jokic hit two shots over Antetokounmpo in the extra session.
Serbia improved to 2-3 in European qualifiers for the World Cup, which will be jointly hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia in 2023. Greece is 3-2. They each have five games to go.
Jokic is the NBA’s two-time defending MVP, as he followed Antetokounmpo winning the award back-to-back in 2019 and 2020. – Rappler.com