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Nathan MacKinnon, Nikola Jokic prove they’re best in NHL, NBA

What pizza rats are to New York, what fountains are to Kansas City, MVPs are to Denver. Come for the sunshine. Stay for the reign.

“I asked him a long time ago, ‘Who is your least favorite person to play against? Or guy that guards you best?’” Nuggets wing Peyton Watson said of teammate and presumed NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic after the latter dropped 41 points on Minnesota’s top-ranked defense.

“He said, ‘Really? Nobody. I kill everybody.’ And I never asked him again.”

One can’t be stopped. The other can’t be caught. Jokic and Nathan MacKinnon are engines of the Nuggets and Avalanche, respectively. Kings of Ball Arena. Denver’s immovable object and its irresistible force.

When your children ask you why life isn’t fair, gently remind them that while everybody in the free world could watch Russell Wilson ignore his tight ends and slot receivers for three hours, Jokic and MacKinnon perform sporting sonatas in comparative darkness.

Behind the Comcast-Kroenke TV Iron Curtain, Mack Daddy and the Joker didn’t just make magic this week. They hammered home closing arguments for taking home MVP honors in the NHL and NBA, respectively. They produced two of the greatest individual performances over a 48-hour stretch in Ball Arena history.

On Tuesday night, MacKinnon put up a hat trick on the hapless Minnesota Wild. That gave the speedy forward 51 goals and 137 points with two regular-season games to go.

Late Wednesday evening, Jokic might’ve done Nasty Nate one better. Big Honey torched the Timberwolves and star center Rudy Gobert, the likely NBA Defensive Player of the Year, for a double-double. More importantly, his killer night leapfrogged the Nuggets past Minnesota for the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference’s playoff bracket.

“Of course they missed (Karl-Anthony Towns),” said the Joker, whose Nuggets close out the regular season with a two-game road swing at San Antonio on Friday and at Memphis on Sunday. “But it was just one of those nights, probably.”

It’s been one of those years, assuredly. Despite the predictable protests of comedians Kevin Hart — “It’s not good for the NBA. Joker cannot win another MVP,” he groaned on “NBA Unplugged” — and Cedric The Entertainer, the league’s top individual honor has been Jokic’s to lose ever since Joel Embiid’s knee gave out two months ago.

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