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Vince Carter and Ernie Johnson Bring Up Nikola Jokic’s ‘Motivation’ Behind 40-Point Night

Advait Jajodia

Vince Carter and Ernie Johnson Bring Up Nikola Jokic’s ‘Motivation’ Behind 40-Point Night

The MVP vs DPOY battles are always special. Moreover, to witness the entertaining duel during the second round of the playoff is the cherry on top. The Nikola Jokic vs Rudy Gobert duel, amidst the ongoing Denver Nuggets-Minnesota Timberwolves series, has convinced analysts to believe that the Joker has a point to prove. Vince Carter and Ernie Johnson Jr. also tried evaluating Jokic’s ulterior motive to go on a scoring rampage in Game 5.

Following the Nuggets’ Game 5 112-97 win, the ‘Inside the NBA’ panel gave their two cents on Nikola Jokic’s 40-point outburst. At this point, Ernie pointed out that the Serbian might be taking the matchup against Rudy Gobert “personally” despite him not admitting it,

“I have a feeling that Joker would never admit it because he’s such a humble superstar but did he take this personally? He’ll say ‘look, we needed to win’. But, was this personal?”

Carter didn’t think twice before agreeing to Johson. According to the retired NBA player, the three-time MVP wanted to prove his point in winning the duel against the four-time Defensive Player of the Year.

“I think so… It looks like he was trying to prove a point. He’s trying to prove that ‘yeah, you’re the Defensive Player of the Year but I’m in the MVP’… It felt personal start to finish,” Carter claimed.

Nikola Jokic put up unarguably his best performance of the 2024 playoff. In 41 minutes, the center finished the night with 40 points and 13 assists, shooting at a highly efficient 68.2% FG and 66.7% 3FG while committing 0 turnovers, per

Needless to say, if he remains on this trajectory, the defending champions might finish the series in the next game. A number of reasons could have motivated the Nuggets superstar for his outburst.

Nikola Jokic seems to be on a mission

Several factors could have resulted in Jokic going on a scoring rampage. In addition to his personal tussle with Gobert, Jokic could’ve been on a mission to redeem themselves after suffering back-to-back home losses in Games 1 & 2. It was also the night he was awarded the MVP trophy at his home arena and surely, it was his day to dominate.

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The reigning Finals MVP has been sensational all postseason long. However, he has shifted gears since trailing 0-2 to the Wolves. After a 24-point near triple-double in Game 3, the European superstar has averaged 37.5 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds on 62.9% FG in Games 4 and 5, per ESPN.

With the form that Joker has been in, in the past week, it won’t be surprising if the Colorado side can win their fourth consecutive contest and advance to the Western Conference Finals for the second straight year.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

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Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia


Advait Jajodia, a seasoned NBA journalist, has had a passion for the game for over a decade. His journey from admiring Kobe Bryant's precision to being in awe of Stephen Curry's long-range mastery instilled a profound understanding of basketball. With a background as a two-time National-level player, Advait uses his experience on the hardwood to offer insightful analysis. Over three years of dedicated sports journalism has equipped the 21-year-old with a unique perspective, reflected in his prolific portfolio of 3,700+ articles.

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