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NBA Playoffs: Nikola Jokic helps the Denver Nuggets reach the Minnesota Timberwolves in the semifinals

Legend, Jokic was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2021, 2022 and 2024.

Nikola Jokic starred as the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-90 to cut the deficit to 2-1 in the Western Conference play-off semifinals.

His efforts in Minneapolis were complemented by 24 points from Canadian Jamal Murray.

“I think we played a lot simpler. We were more aggressive than them,” Jokic said.

“I think that’s definitely what changed the game.”

The Nuggets, who led by as many as 34 points at one point, dominated the Timberwolves, with all five starters scoring in double figures.

The fourth game of the best-of-seven series will take place Monday, again in Minneapolis.

In Friday’s other game, American Tyrese Haliburton scored 35 points while Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 111-106 to avoid losing 3-0 in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Canadian Andrew Nembhard became an unlikely hero for the Pacers, scoring a three-pointer with 17 seconds remaining to give his team the lead in Indianapolis.

“Everyone knows what it’s like when you’re down 3-0,” Haliburton said.

“We had to come out, play desperate, play hard.”

American Donte DiVincenzo is the Knicks’ leading scorer with 35 points.

The Pacers will try to even the series in Game 4 in Indianapolis on Sunday.