Denver Nuggets: ‘Chubby’ Nikola Jokic plays 65 minutes

Nikola Jokic felt he had proved his critics improper after having fun with an astonishing 65 minutes throughout the Nuggets’ quadruple-overtime defeat Friday to the Trail Blazers.

In solely the second NBA playoff recreation to reach a fourth extra time, Portland prevailed 140-137 to take a 2-1 lead throughout the Western Conference semifinal assortment.

Jokic’s marathon effort in a dropping set off seen him play 64 minutes and 58 seconds, most likely essentially the most in a playoff recreation since that conventional 66 years prior to now.

Incredibly, the 7-foot All-Star carried out 43 minutes and 58 seconds consecutively from halftime until the last word seconds of the fourth OT. He accomplished with 33 components, 18 rebounds and 14 assists and had a message for critics who had beforehand questioned his well being ranges.

“They were talking about I’m not in shape!” Jokic instructed reporters, per ESPN. “I’m in truly good situation. I have no idea what they’re talking about.

“Even once I got here right here (from Serbia) I used to be just a little bit chubby. There’s no distinction even now. It’s a basketball recreation. I am feeling good.”

“I imply, Nikola Jokic performed 65 minutes,” Malone mentioned. “That’s unprecedented. That’s ridiculous. I’m unable to do this to him, that’s too many minutes.

“(It was) an instant classic. It was almost like, when is this game going to end? It just kept on going and going and going.”

Malone, who later added he had apologized to Jokic, continued: “If I was at home watching this recreation, I’d’ve been glued to my TV. This was a superb basketball recreation. (It) wasn’t pretty all the time, nonetheless the hassle, the aggressive spirit from every groups was wonderful.

“We fought, we fought, we fought. That’s all you may ask for. (We gave up) too many second-chance factors, too many turnovers, that was the distinction within the recreation. But that was a hell of a basketball recreation by two superb basketball groups.”

After his side emerged victorious, the Trail Blazers’ Maurice Harkless could not take into account what he was learning on the stat sheet.

“Sixty-five minutes, that is loopy,” he mentioned of Jokic. “There is lots to course of, truthfully.”

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