Nikola Jokic joked he is glad the "world doesn't put the bigs aside" after another stellar showing enhanced the Denver Nuggets star's MVP chances.
The giant centre drained 47 points in a 139-137 double-overtime thriller against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, including a go-ahead three in the second additional period.
Jokic added 15 rebounds and eight assists in steering the Nuggets to a third straight win in the absence of Jamal Murray, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
It was Jokic's 51st double-double of an impressive campaign and only narrowly short of a 16th triple-double.
Such impressive form has Jokic well and truly in the MVP conversation and he would be the first center to win the prize since Shaquille O'Neal did so in 1999-2000.
"It's really good for big men. I'm just glad the world doesn't put the bigs aside. We're still popular," Jokic said.
"I had a really good night. I scored a lot and I had a couple of stupid turnovers I can easily fix. It was good night for me and the team."
goodnight, twitter pic.twitter.com/zu0bhOGMXg— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) April 20, 2021
Head coach Michael Malone feels Jokic has shown on plenty of occasions this season that he deserves individual recognition.
"Life is about a bunch of little moments and I think Nikola's got around 56 little moments this year where he's shown he's the MVP.
"Tonight was a character win."
The Nuggets are 37-20 for the season after their win and sit fourth in the Western Conference.