DENVER -- Nikola Jokic received his third Most Valuable Player trophy from NBA commissioner Adam Silver then celebrated by dominating Rudy Gobert and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Denver Nuggets superstar exploded for 40 points, 13 assists, and 7 rebounds with no turnovers to lead Denver to a 112-97 victory Tuesday night in Game 5 at a raucous Ball Arena.


Denver now leads 3-2 in the Western Conference semifinal series and can advance to the conference finals with a win in Game 6 on Thursday in Minneapolis.


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Even by Jokic's brilliant MVP standards, the center put on a clinic against Gobert, the newly minted four-time Defensive Player of the Year, and the best defense in the NBA this season. Jokic converted 15 of 22 shots but was 8-of-9 when Gobert was his primary defender.


Tuesday's outing was Jokic's fifth 40-point game of his playoff career yet the first time he won while scoring 40 or more.

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