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Jokic scores 40, Nuggets shut down Edwards in 112-97 win over Wolves for a 3-2 series lead

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Jokic scores 40, Nuggets shut down Edwards in 112-97 win over Wolves for a 3-2 series lead
Sport

Sport

Jokic scores 40, Nuggets shut down Edwards in 112-97 win over Wolves for a 3-2 series lead

2024-05-15 14:46 Last Updated At:14:50

DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic received the Michael Jordan award from Commissioner Adam Silver before tipoff, then delivered a memorable playoff performance to celebrate his third MVP trophy Tuesday night.

Jokic scored 40 points and dished out 13 assists and the Denver Nuggets shut down Anthony Edwards in a 112-97 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves that put the reigning NBA champs one win away from the Western Conference finals.

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Injured Minnesota Timberwolves guard Mike Conley walks near the bench during the first half of Game 5 of the team's NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic received the Michael Jordan award from Commissioner Adam Silver before tipoff, then delivered a memorable playoff performance to celebrate his third MVP trophy Tuesday night.

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., front, is defended by Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., front, is defended by Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, back, looks on as Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, center, falls to the fall after colliding with Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, back, looks on as Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, center, falls to the fall after colliding with Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, left, fields a pass next to Denver Nuggets forward Peyton Watson during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, left, fields a pass next to Denver Nuggets forward Peyton Watson during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic holds his NBA basketball MVP trophy before Game 5 of the team's second-round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic holds his NBA basketball MVP trophy before Game 5 of the team's second-round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Jokic also had seven rebounds with no turnovers as the home team won for the first time in this semifinal series.

“He did everything for us tonight,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “And it was fun to watch.”

Jokic's domination even had his opponents smiling.

“I just laugh. That's all I can do," Edwards said of watching Jokic go off for 16 points and assist on four other baskets in the third quarter when the Nuggets seized control for yet another rout.

“I can’t be mad,” Edwards said. "He’s good, man. I think I said that after Game 1 when we won, and Game 2, he’s the MVP. He’s the best player in NBA. He showed it the last three games, three games in a row. He was special tonight. I’ve got to give him his flowers. He was that guy tonight.”

Jokic even had another rim-rattling dunk, something he’s not known for. When asked if Minnesota’s collection of rim protectors necessitated such moves, Jokic cracked, “You know, I’m a freak of nature. Why not show off my athleticism?”

Aaron Gordon added 18 points and 10 boards, and Jamal Murray scored 16, saying when Jokic has it going, there's no need for anyone else to try to be the hero.

“If Jokic's scoring like that, there's no need to do anything special," Murray said.

Trapped and doubled all night, Edwards was held to 18 points on 5-of-15 shooting. Karl Anthony-Towns led the Wolves with 23 points and Rudy Gobert scored 18.

“I think we did a great job, not just on (Edwards) but everybody," Murray said.

With their first three-game losing streak of the season, the Wolves will have to snap their skid Thursday night at Target Center to force a Game 7 back in Denver.

Jokic, who was presented with his third MVP trophy by commissioner Adam Silver in a pregame ceremony, scored 19 first-half points in leading Denver to a 50-44 lead at the half. He added 16 points in the third quarter when the Nuggets pushed their lead to 14.

After the Wolves used a mini-run to pull to 103-92, Jokic nailed a 3-pointer at the shot clock buzzer over a helpless Gobert, who recently won his fourth NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, to make it a 14-point cushion with just over 3 minutes left.

Edwards averaged 33.3 points in the first four games of the series and the Wolves were looking for somebody else to step up. Although KAT did just that, Edwards missed eight of his first nine shots, had five points at halftime and didn't find his shooting touch until the game had gotten away from the Timberwolves.

Minnesota's veteran point guard Mike Conley was scratched just before tipoff with a sore right Achilles. He was injured when he missed a 3-pointer on the Wolves' final possession in their loss on Sunday. Nickeil Alexander-Walker started in his spot and had 14 points and five assists.

In his pre-game comments, Wolves coach Chris Finch also expressed dismay at the NBA fining Rudy Gobert $75,000 for making a money gesture following a call by referee Scott Foster in Game 4.

That was $25,000 less than Murray was fined for his actions in Game 2, when he, too, made the money sign and threw both a towel and a heat pack toward an official.

When Towns went to the bench with his third foul late in the first half, Gobert pointed at Kyle Anderson, instructing him to guard Jokic. TNT announcer Reggie Miller was aghast at Gobert, saying, “You’re the Defensive Player of the Year! You guard the MVP!”

It mattered little who was guarding the three-time MVP on this night.

“He's amazing,” Murray said, “just the way he picks apart the game and reads the game and trusts his teammates. I'm guessing that for the big fella getting the trophy tonight probably motivated him a little bit. Just being at home was a lot of fun, the place was rocking, kind of felt the energy and he definitely had it going.”

The summary and story has been updated to show Jokic had 13 assists, not rebounds.

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

Injured Minnesota Timberwolves guard Mike Conley walks near the bench during the first half of Game 5 of the team's NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Injured Minnesota Timberwolves guard Mike Conley walks near the bench during the first half of Game 5 of the team's NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., front, is defended by Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., front, is defended by Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, back, looks on as Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, center, falls to the fall after colliding with Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, back, looks on as Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, center, falls to the fall after colliding with Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, left, fields a pass next to Denver Nuggets forward Peyton Watson during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, left, fields a pass next to Denver Nuggets forward Peyton Watson during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic holds his NBA basketball MVP trophy before Game 5 of the team's second-round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic holds his NBA basketball MVP trophy before Game 5 of the team's second-round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic shoots over Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Denver (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Republican National Convention culminates Thursday with former President Donald Trump expected to accept the party’s presidential nomination, achieving a comeback four years in the making and anticipated even more in the past week in light of Saturday’s assassination attempt.

He is expected to accept his third consecutive party nod in prime time before thousands of supporters at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. Trump's running mate JD Vance addressed the same crowd on Wednesday.

Trump’s election opponent, President Joe Biden, tested positive for COVID-19 while traveling Wednesday in Las Vegas and is experiencing “mild symptoms” including “general malaise” from the infection, the White House said.

Follow the AP’s Election-2024 coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024

Here's the Latest:

JD Vance introduced himself to a national audience Wednesday after being chosen as Donald Trump’s running mate, sharing the story of his hardscrabble upbringing and making the case that his party best understands the challenges facing struggling Americans.

Speaking to a packed arena at the Republican National Convention, the Ohio senator cast himself as a fighter for a forgotten working class, making a direct appeal to the Rust Belt voters who helped drive Trump’s surprise 2016 victory and voicing their anger and frustration.

The 39-year-old Ohio senator is a relative political unknown, having served in the Senate for less than two years. He rapidly morphed in recent years from a bitter critic of the former president to an aggressive defender and is now positioned to become the future leader of the party and the torch-bearer of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” political movement.

The first millennial to join the top of a major party ticket, Vance enters the race as questions about the age of the men at the top — 78-year-old Trump and 81-year-old President Joe Biden — have been high on the list of voters’ concerns. He also joins Trump after an assassination attempt against the former president — in which Trump came perhaps millimeters from death or serious injury — underscoring the importance of a potential successor.

▶ Read more about Vance’s RNC speech

The third nights of conventions are traditionally about the running mate and how they round out a presidential ticket. Certainly, Vance has become a presence at the convention — mentions from the podium, his name now on signs together with Trump, appearances with the former president on the first two nights of the convention.

But Trump is a dominant figure — even when measured against other U.S. presidents and world leaders. Pick any speaker Wednesday and their most passionate pitches were not about “Donald Trump and JD Vance.” They were about Trump.

“This is a man I know and the president we need for four more years,” said Kellyanne Conway, a former Trump adviser. “He will always stand up for you.”

Trump’s former White House physician, Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas, called Trump “the greatest president this country has ever had” and “a president who even took a bullet for our country.”

It’s Trump’s party and his alone. No running mate can change that, especially not a freshman senator who has yet to celebrate his 40th birthday.

▶ Read the AP’s takeaways from night 3 of the RNC.

The convention is gaveling out after a benediction from Rev. Packy Thompson of Houma, Lousiana.

Thompson thanked God for Trump. “I also thank you for protecting him from the evil that was perpetrated last Saturday,” he said.

And the gathering is adjourned until Thursday.

“Tonight, J.D. Vance, the poster boy for Project 2025, took center stage. But it’s working families and the middle class who will suffer if he’s allowed to stay there,” Michael Tyler, Biden campaign communication director, said.

“Backed by Silicon Valley and the billionaires who bought his vice presidential selection, Vance is Project 2025 in human form – an agenda that puts extremism and the ultra wealthy over our democracy.”

Vance made a pledge to voters: “I pledge to every American, no matter your party, I will give you everything I have.”

He added, “To serve you and to make this country a place where every dream you have for yourself, your family and your country will be possible once again.”

After the speech, Vance’s extended family flooded the stage to an unusual song for a Republican convention – Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow.”

The song became a political staple in 1992 when a very different young politician from a humble background ran for national office. That was Bill Clinton, who is, of course, a Democrat.

Law enforcement officers gather at campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is empty Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. Trump's campaign said in a statement that the former president was "fine" after a shooting at his rally in Butler (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Law enforcement officers gather at campaign rally site for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is empty Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. Trump's campaign said in a statement that the former president was "fine" after a shooting at his rally in Butler (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is covered by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump pumps his fist as he is helped off the stage at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Wisconsin Carlos Jimenez dresses up as Captain America at the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Wisconsin Carlos Jimenez dresses up as Captain America at the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, speaks during the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, speaks during the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump's shadow is seen as he departs the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump's shadow is seen as he departs the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Vice Presidential Nominee Sen. JD Vance speaks during the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Vice Presidential Nominee Sen. JD Vance speaks during the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump departs after the third day of the Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump departs after the third day of the Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A general view during rehearsals at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A general view during rehearsals at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Sunday, July 14, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, gestures to the crowd after speaking at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, gestures to the crowd after speaking at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, speaks at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, speaks at the 2024 Republican National Convention at the Fiserv Forum, Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Vice Presidential Nominee Sen. JD Vance and wife Usha Chilukuri Vance acknowledge the crowd during the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Vice Presidential Nominee Sen. JD Vance and wife Usha Chilukuri Vance acknowledge the crowd during the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

President Joe Biden and Maritza Rodriguez, Biden for President Latina adviser, greets patrons at Linda Michoacan Mexican Restaurant, during a stop in Las Vegas, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Joe Biden and Maritza Rodriguez, Biden for President Latina adviser, greets patrons at Linda Michoacan Mexican Restaurant, during a stop in Las Vegas, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Joe Biden walks up the steps of Air Force One at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. Biden has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a speaker at the UnidosUS annual conference broadcast on the White House's YouTube channel. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Joe Biden walks up the steps of Air Force One at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. Biden has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a speaker at the UnidosUS annual conference broadcast on the White House's YouTube channel. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump reacts during the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump reacts during the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump talks to Sen. Marco Rubio during the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump talks to Sen. Marco Rubio during the Republican National Convention Wednesday, July 17, 2024, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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