2023 NBA Finals

Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray make triple-double history in Game 3 win

Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray teamed up for some NBA Finals history in Denver's Game 3 win.

Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic made some NBA Finals history with their showing in Game 3 vs. Miami.

Never had two players from the same team had 30-point triple-doubles in the same game. Never in the regular season. Never in the playoffs. Certainly never in the NBA Finals.

Until now.

In Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Denver center Nikola Jokic became the first player in NBA history to record 30+ points, 20+ rebounds and 10+ assists in a Finals game.

Dominating every aspect of the game, Jokic finished with 32 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists, leading the Denver Nuggets past the Miami Heat 109-94 to give Denver a 2-1 series lead.

Jokic wasn’t alone in his triple-double feat, though.

Teammate Jamal Murray finished with 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as they became the first pair of teammates to log triple-doubles in the same game. Murray nearly missed out on the feat, but got the rebound he needed with 9 seconds remaining.

Asked how much statistical feat meant to him, the two-time Kia MVP gave the perfect Jokic answer: “To be honest, not much. I’m just glad that we won the game.

“It was a big one for us because they won in our arena. We just didn’t want to go down 2-1.”

“By far, their greatest performance as a duo in their seven years together,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said, after his team moved two wins away from Denver’s first title.

It was Jokic’s 10th triple-double of these playoffs, extending his single-season record.

Officially, Jokic is now the seventh player to have two triple-doubles in the same Finals. Magic Johnson and LeBron James each did it in three different Finals. Draymond Green, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird and Jimmy Butler all had one title series with two triple-doubles.

Jokic is also responsible for three of the five 30-20-10 playoff games ever, with two of those coming this postseason. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1970) and Chamberlain (1967) each have one.

In Game 3, Jokic and Murray combined for 24 field goals while Miami had 34. Jokic and Murray combined for 31 rebounds and Miami had 33. Jokic and Murray combined for 20 assists and Miami had exactly that many.

Jokic also 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the first quarter. The only other players in the last 25 years to have that in any quarter of a finals game were Stephen Curry (12-7-5) for Golden State in the third quarter against Cleveland on June 4, 2017, and Shaquille O’Neal (12-7-3) for the Los Angeles Lakers in the second quarter against Philadelphia on June 8, 2001.

Somehow, some way, the Heat know they need to find an answer before Friday’s Game 4 (8:30 ET, ABC).

Christian Braun was tremendous off the bench for the Nuggets in the Game 3 victory, scoring 15 points on 7-for-8 shooting in 19 minutes. Aaron Gordon added 11 for Denver.

And afterward, they both marveled at what Jokic and Murray did in Game 3.

“It’s greatness, man. It’s greatness,” Gordon said. “That’s a dynamic duo right there.”

Added Braun: “I would say that it’s what they do every game.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.