Nikola Jokic scored 39 points and pulled down 16 rebounds on the eve of the NBA MVP announcement to rally the Denver Nuggets to a 97-87 win over Phoenix on Monday night, giving them a 2-0 lead over the Suns in the Western Conference semifinals.

“I love an aggressive Nikola Jokic,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said after Jokic knocked down 17 shots to offset an off-night by Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., who combined to make miss 17 of 22 shots.

“Nikola’s an MVP for a reason,” Malone said. “He can take over a game. He can beat you in a lot of ways. … I love a guy who’s getting to the basket, imposing his will upon the other team. And that fourth quarter, man, 14 points for that team, 28% from the field, 0-for-9 from 3?”

Devin Booker led Phoenix with 35 points and Kevin Durant added 24 but they combined to miss a whopping 32 shots, including 14 from long range.