Nikola Jokić added another accolade to his ever-growing résumé on Monday after turning in a first half in Game 1 against the Heat that placed him in rare company in the annals of NBA Finals history.
Appearing in his first-ever NBA Finals game, the Nuggets star recorded 10 points on 3-of-3 shooting and 10 assists to go with three rebounds and zero turnovers. Jokić’s well-rounded stat line placed him next to LeBron James as the only two players in the last 25 years to record 10 points and 10 assists in any half of an NBA Finals game.
Interestingly, Jokić achieved the feat in his Finals debut, while James, who wrapped up Year 20 in a conference finals lost to Denver, logged his 10-and-10 half as a member of the Cavaliers in his 42nd Finals game back in 2017 in a Game 2 loss to the Warriors.
Nikola Jokic joins LeBron James as the only players in the last 25 years with 10 points & 10 assists in any half of an NBA Finals game.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 2, 2023
James did it in his 42nd Finals game.
Jokic did it in his 1st. pic.twitter.com/VZKy7uFQps
Jokić and the Nuggets went into halftime up big against the Heat, with a 59–42 lead, on a night where the franchise hosted its first-ever NBA finals game.
Considering the postseason Jokić has had, the Serbian big man’s strong start could be a sign that more triple-doubles may be on the horizon.