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BBNBA: Jamal Murray is setting playoff records

(@nuggets)

(@nuggets)

Good afternoon, folks. Jamal Murray scored 50–again… Let’s talk NBA Bubble.

RECAP

The Murray and Mitchell show returns

Here are the per-game averages from Jamal Murray’s last three playoff outings against the Utah Jazz:

47.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.7 turnovers while shooting 64.2 percent from the floor, 62.9 percent from 3, and 88.9 percent from the free-throw line. 

Yes, you read that correctly. Murray is shooting nearly 63 percent from deep on an insane clip of 22-35. He’s missed only two attempts from the charity stripe through these three games and went the entire first two outings without a turnover. Even with a superstar player such as Nikola Jokic acting as the hub, it has been Murray who the Denver Nuggets have relied on more than anyone. The former Wildcat is taking the infamous leap that fans have been begging for from him over the last two or so seasons. Now, he has the Nuggets tied with the Jazz at three games apiece in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs. Here’s how he did it.

Murray finished the evening with his second 50-point scoring affair over his last three games, shooting 17-24 from the field overall and a mind-melting 9-12 from beyond the arc. He joins a group consisting of Michael Jordan (twice), Wilt Chamberlain, and Allen Iverson as the only players to drop at least 50 points twice during one postseason. No player in NBA history has been able to do it three times; I don’t think many would be surprised if he broke that record in Game 7. Murray is also the first player since Iverson to score at least 40 points in three consecutive playoff games.

But Denver needed the win more than any trivial statistic. They’re trying to become just the 12th team in league history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series and the first since the Cleveland Cavaliers did so against the Golden State Warriors during the 2016 NBA Finals (I had to sneak that one in). As he’d done in the previous two games, Murray came out hunting for his points early and often. I said after Game 5 that Denver is currently at its best when Murray is in all-out attack mode and that was the case again in Game 6.

25 of Murray’s 50 came in the first half, as both teams went the first three minutes without missing a single field goal attempt. Utah had its foot on the gas early, quickly jetting ahead with an eight-point lead after making its first seven consecutive shots. However, Murray took over in the second period, dropping 14 personal points as Denver won that quarter 31-20 to take a five-point halftime lead. The third quarter was unusually uneventful from both sides, but the fourth quarter didn’t disappoint. As we’ve seen multiple times already throughout this series, the final 12 minutes was nothing but the Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell Show.

Mitchell actually ended the night with 44 points, making unbelievably difficult shots with a hand in his face at all times. The former Lousiville product shot 14-25 overall and an impressive 9-13 from beyond the arc. 17 of his 44 points came in a dueling fourth quarter. Too bad he–and the entire Jazz roster–had zero answers for Murray, who exploded for 21 points in the final frame, knocking down fadeaway jumper after fadeaway jumper. The shot-making abilities of both Murray and Mitchell are something I haven’t seen probably ever–or at least that I can vividly remember.

The ending wasn’t nearly as climactic as some of the previous games had been, as Denver was able to fend off Utah in the closing minutes before winning by a final score of 119-107. But it sets up a series-deciding Game 7, which is scheduled for Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. on ABC. I need it.

Other notes across the NBA

Immediately after the game was over, Murray’s 50 points became an afterthought. In the postgame interview, Murray was fighting his emotions to come up with the right words to say with a camera pointed in his face. His feet were sporting a pair of custom Adidas shoes that had the faces of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd beautifully pictured on them. Murray referred to the two, who were tragically murdered by police, as a symbol for him to keep fighting. His pure reaction on live television was chilling and put on display the gravity of the situation.

Much will be made about the interviewer’s (Jared Greenberg) choice of words when facing a clearly distraught and emotional Murray, but I thought the two-minute segment was far more powerful than not doing the interview at all. This is how players can use the NBA Bubble platform to their advantage. Murray’s message on Sunday was incredibly powerful and the world would not have been able to see the frustration and pain on his face without that interaction. He was authentic with the choice of his words and had the stage to share them. He initially brought up his shoes in the first place and seemingly wanted to spread his message. This is a time when Murray’s voice needs to be heard and he knows that. There’s no way it was easy for him to do, but I’m sure glad he did.

Series standings from Sunday

EAST

(3) Celtics lead (2) Raptors 1-0

WEST

(2) Clippers defeat (7) Mavericks 4-2
(3) Nuggets tied with (6) Jazz 3-3

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Jamal Murray (DEN)119-107 W @ UTA5017-24 (9-12)56005+1243
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (DAL)97-111 L vs. LAC21-1 (0-0)20000-56
Patrick Patterson (LAC)111-97 W @ DALDNP-CD----------------
Enes Kanter (BOS)112-94 W @ TORDNP-CD----------------

TONIGHT IN THE BUBBLE

6:30 (TNT): Heat (Adebayo, Herro) @ Bucks (Bledsoe) [Game 1]

9:00 (TNT): Rockets @ Thunder (Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander, Noel) [HOU leads 3-2]

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Recruiting reporter for KSR. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

11 Comments for BBNBA: Jamal Murray is setting playoff records



  1. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    2:05 pm August 31, 2020 Permalink

    Does any NBA player (or any other athlete or league) have anything to say about Taylor’s drug dealing boyfriend and his role in her killing, or the fact that she handled drug money for him?
    https://www.wkyt.com/2020/08/26/warrants-issued-for-arrest-of-breonna-taylors-ex-boyfriend-amid-leaked-new-documents/

    That in NO WAY absolves the cops if they did not follow proper procedure, but just like the Jacob Taylor case, the case is more nuanced than many want to believe and that the media will tell you. If the cops are at fault, then prosecute them, but I choose to let all the facts come out.

    One more thing: I do not agree with no knock drug raids, but the cops did not write the law. Senator Rand Paul has proposed banning them, and I am on his side. My only hesitation is I think it should be a state level issue.



  2. Keets
    2:33 pm August 31, 2020 Permalink

    So if it comes out that the cops did not *murder* Breonna, does Zack face any consequences?



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      3:27 pm August 31, 2020 Permalink

      I know you’re (probably) being partially humorous, but that’s a little strong. The problem is that, as I stated above, these cases are nuanced. I don’t know how many comments I’ve read on KSR where someone says “They killed/murdered her while she was in bed” or some such, trying to make people believe that neither she nor her boyfriend had done anything illegal. She may have been in bed. I don’t know. But that does not tell the whole story, not by a long shot.

      Again, I am strongly against no know warrants/raids, but the legislatures are the ones that have to take action (or the police departments themselves could ban them I suppose).



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      3:28 pm August 31, 2020 Permalink

      “No knock.”

      I can’t type today.



    • Keets
      4:31 pm August 31, 2020 Permalink

      Chris, my comment was a rhetorical question referring to KSR (and other media) writing opinion as fact – specifically saying cops “murdered” Breonna. Zack does it here. If it’s determined to be a justified (while tragic) shooting, I wonder if the cops involved would have a response to any media libel labeling them murderers. Or I guess we could just trust articles like these with declarations like Zack’s, bypassing any need for an investigation of any sort for any of these shootings including Jacob Blake, Kenosha, etc.

      No-knocks: Louisville metric council recently voted to ban them for LMPD/Jefferson County. State-wise I believe there are some bills being worked on regarding the matter, to some extent.

      (And to be clear, because everything needs a disclaimer these days: I’m against excessive force by police, deadly or otherwise, and if charges are warranted, then investigate and charge them, and if cops are proven to be criminals, illegally reckless, etc., then they should be held just as accountable.)



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      9:23 pm August 31, 2020 Permalink

      I know it was rhetorical, but I wanted to respond anyway. 😉



    • Keets
      10:38 pm August 31, 2020 Permalink

      Guess I’m confused. What did you mean by my first comment being a little strong?



    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      10:28 am September 1, 2020 Permalink

      The part about Zack facing consequences. He stated an opinion. Not an educated one, but it was an opinion. And I’m not saying the cops should face no consequences. As always, wait for all the facts to come out.



    • Keets
      11:43 am September 1, 2020 Permalink

      Oh gotcha. Yeah I think media should face some sort of backlash (not personal attacks of course) for libel if it turns out to be just that. KSR may try say it’s an opinion blog, but there is a thin line with them at this stage, and if nothing else, there is a responsibility when labeling people murderers.



  3. DaaaaCats
    6:17 pm August 31, 2020 Permalink

    Lol well can we agree that Murray is playing out of his mind? It was a blast watching him last night.

    Can’t wait for game 7.



  4. CahillsCrossingNT
    5:46 am September 1, 2020 Permalink

    Calipari had him in his backcourt and couldn’t even get past 5-seeded Indiana.