The Denver Nuggets enter Friday’s No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown with the Memphis Grizzlies (10 ET, ESPN) with a Western Conference-leading 44 wins, with 24 of those wins featuring a triple-double from reigning two-time Kia MVP Nikola Jokic.
Jokic’s all-around brilliance has been synonymous with Denver’s success as the Nuggets are a perfect 24-0 this season when Jokic posts a triple-double. When we extend the look to last season, the Nuggets have won 28 consecutive games when Jokic posts a triple-double – the longest such streak in NBA history.
Longest Triple-Double Win Streaks, NBA History
- 28 games: Nikola Jokic (Feb. 26, 2022 – present)
- 24 games: Magic Johnson (Nov. 28, 1984 – Nov. 8, 1987)
- 23 games: Draymond Green (Jan. 2, 2015 – Oct. 28, 2019)
- 21 games: Wilt Chamberlain (Jan. 27, 1967 – Jan. 26, 1968)
- 20 games: Russell Westbrook (Nov. 10, 2015 – Oct. 30, 2016)
In Tuesday’s win over the Rockets, Jokic posted his 15th triple-double over his past 20 games to become the sixth player in NBA history to reach 100 career triple-doubles, joining LeBron James, Jason Kidd, Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook in the exclusive club. Of the six members of the 100 triple-double club, none has a higher triple-double win percentage than Jokic.
Triple-Double Win Percentage, 100+ Career Triple-Doubles
- 82.0%: Nikola Jokic (82 wins, 18 losses)
- 78.3%: Magic Johnson (108 wins, 30 losses)
- 76.4%: LeBron James (81 wins, 25 losses)
- 73.2%: Russell Westbrook (145 wins, 53 losses)
- 72.4%: Oscar Robertson (131 wins, 50 losses)
- 71.0%: Jason Kidd (76 wins, 31 losses)
Only two players in the top 20 in career triple-doubles have a higher win percentage than Jokic: Draymond Green at 96.8% (30-1) and Giannis Antetokounmpo at 87.5% (28-4), but neither is a third of the way to reaching Jokic’s total, which has steadily increased year over year.
Nikola Jokic Triple-Doubles, By Season
- 2015-16: 0 in 80 games (0%)
- 2016-17: 6 in 73 games (8.2%)
- 2017-18: 10 in 75 games (13.3%)
- 2018-19: 12 in 80 games (15.0%)
- 2019-20: 13 in 73 games (17.8%)
- 2020-21: 16 in 72 games (22.2%)
- 2021-22: 19 in 74 games (25.7%)
- 2022-23: 24 in 55 games (43.6%)
In total, Jokic has recorded a triple-double in 17.2% of his 582 career regular-season games, a percentage that is topped only by Oscar Robertson (17.4%) and Russell Westbrook (18.4%). Robertson held the record for most career triple-doubles for 47 years, from the time he retired in 1974 until Westbrook posted his 182nd in 2021.
What was once seen as an untouchable record was finally broken. And while Westbrook continues to push the mark higher – he is two shy of becoming the first player to reach 200 career triple-doubles – when we see the pace at which Jokic is recording triple-doubles in just his eighth NBA season, seeing him add another 100 and challenging the mark that Westbrook leaves does not seem inconceivable.
Of course, there is another connection between Robertson and Westbrook that Jokic may join at the end of this season, as Jokic is on pace to average a triple-double. With 19 games left to play, Jokic is averaging 24.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 10.0 assists, with the latter mark on pace to be the highest assist average by a center in league history.
"He's the MVP" pic.twitter.com/o0bmJKGZkY
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) February 24, 2023
For Jokic, he’s been dismissive of the individual honors and accolades he’s racked up over the past few seasons. The historic numbers he’s putting up on a nightly, seasonal and career basis are not nearly important as finding team success, which has eluded the Nuggets as they seek their first NBA title. That is what makes this undefeated run of triple-doubles the perfect record for Jokic as it marries individual greatness and team achievement simultaneously.
Historic numbers beyond triple-doubles
In addition to being Denver’s top playmaker and top rebounder, he is also an efficient scorer – not just for the Nuggets but across the NBA. Jokic ranks seventh in the league in field goal percentage with a career-best mark of 63.3%.
Field goal percentages north of 63% are usually reserved for centers that are bound to the paint; they are scoring on dunks, lobs, putbacks, layups and a few jumpers. But the vast majority of their points are coming at the rim. That is not the case with Jokic, who has the ability to score at all three levels: at the basket, in the mid-range and beyond the 3-point line.
|Player||Overall||Restricted Area||Paint (Non-RA)||Mid-Range||3-Pointers|
|Nic Claxton||313/441 (71.0%)||268/340 (78.8%)||44/95 (46.3%)||1/4 (25.0%)||0/2 (0.0%)|
|Rudy Gobert||269/397 (67.8%)||252/342 (73.7%)||16/46 (34.8%)||1/6 (16.7%)||0/3 (0.0%)|
|Mason Plumlee||279/413 (67.6%)||239/324 (73.8%)||28/67 (41.8%)||9/17 (52.9%)||0/0 (0.0%)|
|Brandon Clarke||229/348 (65.8%)||151/193 (78.2%)||67/128 (52.3%)||10/21 (47.6%)||1/6 (16.7%)|
|Jarrett Allen||354/543 (65.2%)||267/347 (76.9%)||74/152 (48.7%)||12/35 (34.3%)||1/9 (11.1%)|
|Jakob Poeltl||290/455 (63.7%)||195/253 (77.1%)||92/181 (50.8%)||3/20 (15.0%)||0/1 (0.0%)|
|Nikola Jokic||516/815 (63.3%)||255/344 (74.1%)||179/289 (61.9%)||37/69 (53.6%)||45/113 (39.8%)|
Take a look at the shot charts below and find the one that doesn’t look like the others.
Jokic has made more mid-range shots (37) than the six players above him in overall field goal percentage combined (34). And the comparison in 3-pointers isn’t even close with Jokic’s 45 compared to two in 21 attempts by the other six players combined.
In addition to shooting a career-best 63.3% from the field, Jokic is also hitting a career-best 39.8% of his 3-point attempts, although his attempts are down to their lowest since his sophomore season back in 2016-17. No player in the 3-point era (1979-80 to present) has shot a higher percentage from the field than Jokic’s 63.3% while attempting at least 100 3-pointers in a season.
Jokic enters Friday’s game looking for his 50th straight game of shooting 50% or better from the field, a streak that began on Oct. 30 at the Los Angeles Lakers. It is already the third-longest such streak in league history, topped only by Boston’s Robert Williams III (75 games and active, Nov. 22, 2021 – present) and Rudy Gobert during his time in Utah (March 12, 2021 – Dec. 18, 2021).
Once again, it is necessary to point out the enormous difference in shot volume and distribution between Williams and Jokic. Over the course of his 75-game streak of shooting 50% or better, Williams has averaged 5.7 shots per game with 83.7% of those shots coming inside the restricted area, where he’s shot 81.1%. Of his 70 total shots outside the restricted area during this streak, Williams has shot 40%.
As for Jokic, he’s averaged 15.2 shots per game during his 49-game streak, with only 43.1% of his shots coming inside the restricted area, where he’s shot 73.2%. Jokic has attempted 423 shots (56.9% of his total) outside the restricted area and made 56.3% of those attempts. While both streaks are incredibly impressive, Jokic’s run has been more difficult to maintain due to the variety of his shot types and locations.
Jokic has led the Kia MVP Ladder since the calendar flipped to 2023 and enters the stretch run as the favorite to become only the fourth player to ever win three consecutive league MVPs, joining Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird. Between the near-nightly triple-doubles, his record pace of assists as a center, and his historically great shooting, it’s easy to see why.