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Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic reveals hilarious birthday message he told Michael Malone before Game 7 vs. Clippers

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Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was in a playful mood following his team’s convincing 104-89 upset victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinals series on Tuesday. The Joker lived up to his moniker, after revealing his rather comical birthday present for head coach Michael Malone.

The Nuggets head coach turned 49 on Tuesday and received perhaps the best gift ever from his Serbian big man. Speaking to reporters after his phenomenal performance in the winner-take-all game, Jokic said he gave Malone quite the guarantee prior to the start of the match.

As much as Michael Malone would love to be with his family on his special day, the revered tactician is certainly grateful that Nikola Jokic gifted him with a conference finals berth instead. The two-time All-Star put up one of the best all-around Game 7 performances of all-time, tallying a triple-double of 16 points, 22 rebounds, and 13 assists in 40 minutes.

While he didn’t have a good night shooting the ball going just 5-of-13 from the field, Jokic also came up big on defense with two steals and three shot blocks. The 25-year-old center wasn’t alone in giving Malone the best birthday gift, as Jamal Murray also erupted for a game-high 40 points, along with five assists and four boards.

The Nuggets, meanwhile, are now considered the “Cinderella team” of the 2020 playoffs after surviving back-to-back Game 7s after trailing 3-1. Denver will make its first Western Conference Finals trip in 11 years, where they will coincidentally match-up against the Los Angeles Lakers once more.