Nikola Jokic grabbed the fastest triple double in NBA history on Thursday as the Denver Nuggets boosted their play-off hopes with a 134-123 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Rising Serbian star Jokic bagged 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in 14 minutes and 33 seconds to give Denver the perfect send-off as the team heads into the All-Star break.
Jokic, who eventually finished with 30 points, 15 rebounds and 17 assists, smashed the previous record of 17 minutes set by Jim Tucker in 1955, a mark that had stood unchallenged for 63 years.
The 6ft 10in 22-year-old now heads an illustrious list of names for the fastest triple double in recent history, with only Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Ben Simmons coming close to matching his achievement. Jokic now has five triple doubles this season.
The victory saw Denver improve to 32-26 in the Western Conference, leaving them sixth overall.
While Jokic’s breathtaking first-half performance stole the headlines, the Nuggets claimed victory thanks to a strong all-round display.
All five members of their starting line-up finished with double-digit points tallies.
Gary Harris had 28 points while Jamal Murray had 26, followed by Will Barton with 19. Wilson Chandler finished with 11 points and Trey Lyles came off the bench to score 12.
Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo topped the game scorers with 36 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists. But the towering Greek power forward’s efforts proved in vain against a fired-up Denver side.
Eric Bledsoe had 27 points for the Bucks while Khris Middleton finished with 17 as Milwaukee slipped to 32-25 for the season. The Bucks stand in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
In the day’s other NBA game, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a fourth quarter collapse in a 119-111 defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road.
The Lakers had looked to be moving towards an impressive victory after moving into a 15-point lead at one stage.
But Minnesota came roaring back in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Lakers by 35-20 to overturn the deficit and seal a win which takes them to 36 wins against 25 defeats for the season.
Taj Gibson led the scoring for Minnesota with 28 points, while Jimmy Butler chipped in with 24 and Jeff Teague 20.
Julius Randle finished with 23 points to lead the Lakers, with Ivica Zubac contributing 19 from the bench. Brandon Ingram and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 17 each.
(With inputs from AFP)