After trailing 3-1 in their series with the Utah Jazz, the Denver Nuggets got remarkable scoring performances in Games 5 and 6 from Jamal Murray to even up the series. In Game 7, two gassed teams battled it out, with the Nuggets ultimately coming out on top 80-78.
The Nuggets were in control of the game in the first half, but were clearly running on empty in the final two quarters. Denver scored just 30 points in the second half, and hung on in a crazy final sequence in which Utah’s Mike Conley had a three barely rim out.
What a finish to Nuggets-Jazz Game 7! pic.twitter.com/bfBKluGuOm
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) September 2, 2020
(Also, the Nuggets should’ve probably not gone for the aggressive layup in that spot with the lead.)
While Denver only scored 80 points, they did get 30 points from Nikola Jokic. The star big man made the go-ahead bucket with under 30 seconds remaining.
THE JOKER FOOTWORK AND FLOATER FOR THE LEAD!@utahjazz 78@nuggets 80
WIN or GO HOME GAME 7 on ABC… 22.6 left, Utah ball! pic.twitter.com/aqGCKeiPTl
— NBA (@NBA) September 2, 2020
So, the Nuggets move on to the second round, and they face a much bigger challenge this time around against Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers. But the Nuggets appear to be a more dangerous team than they were entering the bubble, with Jamal Murray playing like a full-on superstar, to go with a known star in Jokic. The Nuggets will have to bring the defensive intensity in every game vs the Clippers, but have the firepower to make it an entertaining series.