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September 26, 2020

Nikola Jokic

Denver Nuggets

Game 5: Postgame

Los Angeles Lakers - 117, Denver Nuggets - 107

Q. Obviously I'm sure this hurts, but you guys made NBA history. You won six elimination games before tonight. What do you take away from this entire 82-day experience inside the bubble?

NIKOLA JOKIC: It was an experience. It was something that we are going to remember our whole life. We're going to remember this our whole life. We had a really good group of guys. There was a lot of fight in us. Like you said, we had six elimination games. We didn't want to quit. Today they were good. They were better. They won the game. LeBron was amazing. AD was good. He scored a lot of points. He's really good, a really big attraction to us, like, we need to think about him all the time. I think Caruso played well. Dwight Howard played well. So I think everybody step up on their team. But I think we made an interesting series. They beat us at the buzzer, then we won the one game, then next game after that it was a close game. So, I mean, we made at least a little bit interesting. So, I don't know what your question actually was. Yeah, it was takeaways, yeah. Great experience.

Q. You guys developed this reputation as the comeback kids, but what do you think you proved to the nation throughout this post-season run?

NIKOLA JOKIC: That we fight. That's something that, even today they were up 16, I think, we didn't quit. We didn't quit. We didn't throw the game away. And that's something that is going to be our mentality and our focus in the next years. So just don't quit, keep fighting, effort, and just give yourself a chance to win the game. That's the only thing that we can ask.

Q. Obviously Jamal was hobbled a little bit tonight, but what did you learn from Jamal in this entire post-season of everything he did? And how do you and Jamal take another step forward? You guys took one step forward this post-season from last post-season. What will be the next step forward for you guys next year?

NIKOLA JOKIC: I mean, he's amazing. He was our leader. His energy through the whole playoffs. He was banged up. He was injured before, even when I came here, he was a little bit banged up, he didn't play a couple games. But he's a dog. He's a fighter. He's a competitor. He's an amazing shooter. He played amazing. He was amazing. Since when I came here five years ago or six years ago, we had 33 wins, I think, that season. And today we're in the Western Conference Finals. So, I think it's interesting to think about it, just the huge improvement that we have, me as a player, as a group, as a whole organization. It was amazing. It was amazing improvement.

Q. Following up on that. In terms of just the improvement that you guys have made, how encouraged are you by just having so much youth on your team and just being a group of young guys with a long future ahead of you?

NIKOLA JOKIC: We have a couple guys that it's the last year in their contract. I mean, it depends. I don't know. I mean, I'm just, I'm happy that we know the way and we showed the way to the young guys how we need to play and how we need to look on the court. So, I think that's the one thing that we can point to the young guys.

Q. Coming into this season you may not have known too much what to expect from Jerami Grant or Michael Porter Jr. What can you say about the growth of those guys, especially through the bubble?

NIKOLA JOKIC: I mean Jerami was guarding every single best player on their team, you know, so he's, today he was the best scorer -- was he? How much did Jerami score today?

Yeah, so he was probably the best scorer on our team and he was guarding the best players on their team. So that's really tough to do. That's really something that you need to have a lot of pride in yourself, defending and then just to have energy and still have effort to score. And Mike, I think he surprised probably a bunch of the players, a bunch of the teams with his shooting ability and just how talented he is. But I think it's a great experience for him too, just to see, like every ball matters, every possession matters. So, I think he learned a lot during these playoffs.

Q. How much pride does this team take in being a team that has been built from the ground up? So many of you were drafted late, a couple guys undrafted. It's very unlike other teams in the NBA that have made it this far.

NIKOLA JOKIC: I mean, maybe that's why we didn't quit in the Utah series, maybe that's why we didn't quit in the Clippers series, you know, because we are nobody. We are just someone who've work to be here. You know, some didn't play for a season or two, so we know what the feeling of working hard for something and working and not playing. So, when you play in the Western Conference Finals you know how big it is.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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