Nikola Jokic certainly earned the respect of both Devin Booker and Kevin Durant following his 50-point explosion on Sunday; however, the two Phoenix Suns stars couldn’t have been more different with the way they delivered it.
Jokic dropped 53 points, four rebounds and 11 assists in the Nuggets’ 129-124 loss to the Suns in Game 4 of their playoff series. Nonetheless, while Booker admitted that facing Jokic is always tough, he noted that the Serbian can score 50 or more whenever he wants as long as it’s Phoenix who gets the win.
“It’s a tough match-up. He’s either scoring, or he’s getting his teammates involved, or he’s doing both. So every possession, just trying to make it hard on him, make it tough on him. I mean, he can have 50 all he wants as long as we get the win,” Devin Booker said of Jokic, via ClutchPoints.
“[Nikola Jokic] can have 50 all he wants as long as we get the win.”
– Devin Booker on Jokic’s career-night pic.twitter.com/RjFHm5qaGl
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 8, 2023
On the other hand, in his postgame presser, Kevin Durant called Nikola Jokic’s performance “ridiculous.” He noted how the Joker made his shots look easy and effortless, all while praising the pace he played in. For KD, it’s hard to make Jokic speed up since he plays at his own pace.
“Yeah he’s ridiculous.”
Kevin Durant when asked about Nikola Jokic’s 53-point night in Game 4 #NBAPlayoffs presented by @GooglePixel_US pic.twitter.com/OPoDhSqfXd
— NBA (@NBA) May 8, 2023
Aside from his six turnovers, it’s truly hard to find any flaw on Jokic’s performance. Sure, the big man had two big errors late in the game that prevented the Nuggets from staging a comeback. But at the end of the day, there’s no denying that he gave it his all for Denver.
The Suns may have been lucky to tie the series with the Nuggets, but they know very well they can’t be too overconfident as their series with Jokic and the Nuggets shift back to Denver.
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