Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has made history by recording his 108th career triple-double in a 134-116 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night. Jokic surpassed LeBron James and Jason Kidd, who both have 107 triple-doubles, to move into fourth place on the all-time list. Jokic achieved this feat in just 604 games, while James needed 1,417 games and Kidd needed 1,247 games to reach 107 triple-doubles.
Jokic was unstoppable against the Pelicans, scoring 35 points on 14-of-19 shooting, grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing out 12 assists. He also had two steals and two blocks, while committing only one turnover. Jokic had 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the first half alone, as he helped the Nuggets erase a 20-point deficit. He completed his triple-double with 5:13 left in the third quarter, when he found Aaron Gordon for a dunk.
Jokic’s performance was even more impressive considering that he was playing without his backcourt partner Jamal Murray, who will miss several games with a right hamstring injury. Jokic stepped up as the leader and facilitator of the Nuggets, who improved to 7-1 and extended their winning streak to six games.
Jokic joins elite company in triple-double history
Jokic is now one of only five players in NBA history to have 108 or more triple-doubles. The others are Russell Westbrook (198), Oscar Robertson (181), Magic Johnson (138) and Jason Kidd (107). Jokic is also the only center in this group, as well as the only player born outside the United States.
Jokic has been averaging a triple-double this season, with 25.9 points, 12.4 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game. He is the reigning NBA MVP and the leader of the defending champion Nuggets, who are considered among the favorites to win the title again this year. Jokic has shown no signs of slowing down, as he continues to dazzle fans and opponents with his versatile and dominant game.
Jokic credits his teammates for his triple-double success
Jokic is not one to boast about his individual achievements, as he always gives credit to his teammates and coaches for his success. After the game, he said that he was happy to win the game and that he was not aware of the triple-double record until he was told by the media.
“I’m just trying to play the game the right way,” Jokic said. “I’m not chasing stats, I’m just trying to make the right play. Sometimes it’s a pass, sometimes it’s a shot, sometimes it’s a rebound. I’m just trying to help my team win.”
Jokic also praised his teammates for their contributions, especially rookie Julian Strawther, who scored a career-high 21 points off the bench. Jokic said that Strawther was a “big surprise” and that he was happy for him.
“He was amazing,” Jokic said. “He was aggressive, he was confident, he was making shots. He was playing defense, he was running the floor. He was doing everything. He was a big part of our win tonight.”
Jokic will have a chance to add to his triple-double tally on Wednesday, when the Nuggets host the Golden State Warriors in a clash of two of the best teams in the Western Conference.