Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and Milwaukee Bucks big Giannis Antetokounmpo, who have combined to win the past four NBA MVP awards, had a rare summer encounter on Thursday in international competition.
Jokic led host Serbia to a 100-94 overtime victory over Antetokounmpo’s native Greece in a FIB World Cup qualifying game in Belgrade.
Antetokounmpo scored 40 points in 40 minutes, becoming the first player in history to hit for 40 in a European qualifier game. He added eight rebounds and five assists.
But it wasn’t enough to prevent Jokic’s team from sealing the victory. Jokic finished with 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting along with eight rebounds and six assists. He knocked down a turnaround jumper off one leg over Antetokounmpo late in the game to put Serbia up by eight.
Greece managed to force overtime, but Jokic hit two shots over Antetokounmpo in the extra session.
Serbia improved to 2-3 in European qualifiers for the World Cup, which will be played in 2023. Greece is 3-2. They each have five games to go.
Jokic is the NBA’s two-time defending MVP, as he followed Antetokounmpo winning the award back-to-back in 2019 and 2020.
–Field Level Media