NBA Finals

‘We can go home now:’ Ever-humble Finals MVP Nikola Jokic wins Denver 1st title


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‘We can go home now:’ Ever-humble Finals MVP Nikola Jokic wins Denver 1st title

WHAT MATTERS MOST. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) and his daughter celebrate after the Nuggets won the 2023 NBA Championship against the Miami Heat at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic takes winning his first championship in casual stride, refusing to gloat as the rest of the Denver Nuggets sing his praises instead

As the final seconds ticked down toward the first NBA title in Denver Nuggets history, star center Nikola Jokic walked backward past center court, turned toward the Miami Heat bench, and shook hands with his vanquished opponents.

Understated when the championship moment arrived, Jokic was anything but during the Game 5 of the NBA Finals, scoring 28 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in a 94-89 victory on Monday (Tuesday, June 13, Manila time) to wrap up the championship.

After not winning the overall NBA MVP award for the first time in three seasons, Jokic instead helped Denver earn the ultimate team prize and was chosen the Finals MVP. The Nuggets never lost more than twice in any playoff series and finished with 10 victories in their last 11 postseason games.

“It’s good, it’s good,” Jokic said immediately after the victory on the ABC broadcast. “We can finally go home now.”

Jokic, always reluctant to talk about his own play, instead spoke volumes on the court by averaging 30.2 points, 14 rebounds and 7.2 assists.

“Nikola Jokic is a great person, he is a great husband, father, son and brother, and on the basketball court he has proven time and time again that he is the best player in the NBA,” Denver coach Michael Malone said.

“He’s our MVP, we love him and we’re thankful he’s wearing a Nuggets uniform.”

Michael Porter Jr. put up 16 points and 13 rebounds, Jamal Murray had 14 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 11 as the top seed from the Western Conference finished off the eighth seed from the Eastern Conference in the best-of-seven series.

“All the hard work, all the sacrifice, all the dedication all culminated in winning the championship,” Malone said. “We have news for everybody out there: We’re not satisfied with one. We want more. We want more.” –

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