Nikola Jokic added another accolade to his ever-growing résumé on Monday after returning in the first half of Game 1 against the Heat that put him among the most notable in NBA Finals history.
Appearing in his first NBA Finals game, the Nuggets star recorded 10 points on 3-of-3 shooting and 10 assists with three rebounds and zero turnovers. Jokić’s well-placed stat line puts him behind LeBron James as the only two players in the last 25 years to record 10 points and 10 assists in either half of an NBA Finals game.
Interestingly, Jokić achieved success in his Finals debut, while James, who ended the year with 20 in a conference finals loss to Denver, registered his 10-and-10 in his 42nd Finals game. back in 2017. The former Cavaliers forward recorded 18 points, 10 assists and six rebounds and finished with a 29/14/11 triple-double in Game 2’s loss to the Warriors.
Nikola Jokic joins LeBron James as the only players in the last 25 years to have 10 points and 10 assists in any half of an NBA Finals game.
James did it in his 42nd Finals game.
Jokic did it in his 1st. pic.twitter.com/VZKy7uFQps
– ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 2, 2023
Jokić and the Nuggets entered halftime big against the Heat, with a 59–42 lead, on a night in which the franchise hosted its first ever NBA finals game.
Considering the postseason that Jokić has had, the Serbian big man’s strong start could be a sign that more triple-doubles could be on the horizon.