DENVER — Ball Arena was electric during a pregame ceremony on Friday night, as Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was presented his NBA MVP trophy.
Unfortunately, fans did not have a ton to cheer about after that, besides "The Joker" himself and his huge game.
Denver lost to the Phoenix Suns 116-102 in Game 3 of their second round playoff matchup and now trails 3-0 in the series. The Nuggets will need to win four straight or their postseason is over.
Still, the night was about Jokic and his historic award as the first MVP in Nuggets history. Of course, humble as always, he did not want any of the credit in a pregame speech to the near-capacity crowd.
“I want to thank you guys for all the support, not just this year, through all six years I (have been) here. This trophy’s not mine, it’s of all these guys over here, so I want you to cheer for them,” Jokic said while accepting the award and thanking his teammates.
Unfortunately, The Joker once again didn't get a ton of help from his supporting cast in the loss. Aaron Gordon scored just four points while Austin Rivers had only five. Monte Morris did chip in 21 while Michael Porter Jr. had 15 and Will Barton added 14.
Meanwhile, Jokic was excellent as usual, scoring 32 points, adding 20 rebounds and 10 assists for yet another triple-double.
The Suns were led by Devin Booker with 28 points and Chris Paul with 27.
Game 4, and a potential sweep for Phoenix, is on deck Sunday night at 6:00 p.m. MST at Ball Arena.
>> Video above: The day we learned Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was named the first NBA in team history