Nuggets and Knicks close in on conference finals

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DENVER, May 15, (AP): Nikola Jokic received the Michael Jordan award from Commissioner Adam Silver before tipoff, then delivered a memorable playoff performance to celebrate his third MVP trophy.
Jokic scored 40 points and dished out 13 assists and the Denver Nuggets shut down Anthony Edwards in a 112-97 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves that put the reigning NBA champs one win away from the Western Conference finals.

Jokic also had seven rebounds with no turnovers as the home team won for the first time in this semifinal series.
Jokic’s domination even had his opponents smiling.
Jokic even had another rim-rattling dunk, something he’s not known for. When asked if Minnesota’s collection of rim protectors necessitated such moves, Jokic cracked,

Aaron Gordon added 18 points and 10 boards, and Jamal Murray scored 16, saying when Jokic has it going, there’s no need for anyone else to try to be the hero.
Trapped and doubled all night, Edwards was held to 18 points on 5-of-15 shooting. Karl Anthony-Towns led the Wolves with 23 points and Rudy Gobert scored 18.

With their first three-game losing streak of the season, the Wolves will have to snap their skid Thursday night at Target Center to force a Game 7 back in Denver.
Jokic was presented with his third MVP trophy by Commissioner Adam Silver.

The New York Knicks have one more step to climb to reach the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2000.

Jalen Brunson, after a couple of rough games, looks ready to take it.
Brunson scored 44 points, reaching 40 for the fifth time in this postseason, and the Knicks beat the Indiana Pacers 121-91 for a 3-2 lead in their playoff series.

The Knicks rebounded from a blowout loss and guaranteed themselves at least one more game at Madison Square Garden in front of their roaring fans who had been aching to see big games in late spring again. Josh Hart had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Deuce McBride scored 17 points after he was inserted into the starting lineup.

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