NBA. With Jokic and Embiid destroying everything, the MVP race is heating up

Wednesday, January 18, was a night in the NBA where two players stood out. Nikola Jokic (Denver) and Joel Embiid (Philadelphia) have started a distance duel in the fight for the title of the best player of the season (MVP).

Denver and Jokic still dominate the West

For now, the Nuggets are not withstanding the pressure put on them by the surging Ja Morant’s Grizzlies and maintain a somewhat favorable record in the standings (30-13 vs. 31-13). The positions could have been reversed at the slightest mistake, but Denver has the MVP of the last two practices in Jokic, who is in the game for the third consecutive year and joins the legendary Bill Russell (1960-63). , Wilt Chamberlain (1965-68) and Larry Bird (1983-86) in this indoor club.

The interior of the Serbians was close to perfect offensively (36 points, 13/14, 9/10 free throws, 12 rebounds, 10 assists). Only Chamberlain, like him, could achieve a triple-double with at least 35 points and 90% shooting success, but “Joker” is the first to do it twice.

“It’s always difficult against them. Damian Lillard is playing incredibly well right now. But I think we defended very well in the second half. That’s why we won”, commented Jokic, who calmed the Portland star’s passion by going against him when the Blazers were struggling in the 4th quarter. Lillard continued his offense through the week, however, finishing with 44 points (8 assists) and averaging 42.5 points over the last four games.

Bucks capitalize on Nets loss

East winner Toronto (130-122) tied for second in the East with Milwaukee losing to San Antonio (106-98) at the same time.

In a back-to-back, the Bucks and Raptors battled well and it almost went wrong six minutes from the end, when Brook Lopez and Gary Trent Jr. hugged a little too manly, leading to a fight between several players. However, as he scored 15 of his 19 points in the third quarter, a slightly too virulent Bucks top was dismissed. But that didn’t stop his team from showing a strong result after Jrue Holiday, the author of 37 points (7 assists).

With this best result of the season, the back shines as interim boss in the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee injury). Well supported by Grayson Allen (25 points), he had an excellent duel from distance with Fred VanVleet, who put up 39 walks (9 rebounds, 6 assists) for the 11th-ranked Raptors.

The Nets, who have been without Kevin Durant (knee) for ten days in San Antonio, also suffered a calf injury without Kyrie Irving. Led by the excellent Keldon Johnson (36 points, 11 rebounds), the Spurs took advantage of that (106-98) and ended their losing streak at 5.

After the third consecutive failure, Brooklyn dropped to the 4th position, while also falling above Philadelphia (3rd).

8th game over 40 points for Embiid

The Sixers are actually up a notch after their win at the Clippers, eighth in ten games, and it still bears the stamp of Joel Embiid (9 rebounds, 2 blocks).

Pivot managed his 8th game of at least 40 points this season. His points earned him the “MVP!” MVP! From the Los Angeles audience. A trophy he narrowly missed out on last year and still claims to be a serious contender with Luka Doncic and Jokic.

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On his side, James Harden was very restrained (6 points, 9 assists), but Tyrese Maxey (22 points) and Tobias Harris (20 points, 6 assists, 5 steals) struggled. Kawhi Leonard did what he could (27 points) on the Clippers side, which is in 6th place in the West.

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