Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic wins NBA MVP for 3rd time

 

Nikola Jokic is on top of the basketball world for the third time in four seasons after being named NBA MVP Wednesday ahead of the Denver Nuggets’ playoff game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jokic won the award over Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic. 

It’s just the seventh time a player has won three MVPs in four seasons.

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The All-Star center averaged 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and nine assists per game. However, he didn’t lead the NBA in any of those categories during the regular season. But he’s never led the league in any of the key statistical categories despite now winning the MVP three times.

He received 79 of a possible 99 first-place votes to win.

Gilgeous-Alexander helped the Thunder to a No. 1 seed over Jokic’s Nuggets, the defending NBA champions. Oklahoma City finished 10th in the Western Conference last season.

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He averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game. It was the second straight season he averaged at least 30 points per game.

Doncic helped the Mavericks to a 50-win season. The five-time All-Star led the NBA in scoring, averaging 33.9 points per game. He also had 9.8 assists and 9.2 rebounds per game.

Jokic became the ninth player to win the MVP at least three times. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a six-time winner. Bill Russell and Michael Jordan both won it five times. Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James won the award four times.

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Other three-time winners include Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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