Good afternoon, folks. Just because Jamal Murray left UK doesn’t mean he still can’t beat up on Donovan Mitchell. Let’s talk NBA Bubble.
Murray’s 36 points spoil Mitchell’s 57
Can you imagine the unspeakable pain that you might feel if you were to score 57 points in Game 1 of a playoff series, lose the game in overtime, then have to sit and watch as the man who just beat you records your live reaction 20 minutes after that crushing defeat? Well, imagine no more! That is the world Utah Jazz star–and former Louisville product–Donovan Mitchell currently lives in! How fun!
Mitchell’s 57 points were the third-most for a playoff game in NBA history. He had FIFTY-SEVEN at just 23 years old. Outside of a rusty first quarter, the Jazz guard literally could not be stopped with the ball in his hands. Without Mike Conley in the lineup, who is outside of the Bubble to be with his newborn child, Mitchell was forced to create and holy shit did he ever. He went 19-33 from the floor, nailed six triples, and hit all 13 of his free throw attempts. But as I inferred above, it was all for naught, and he can thank Jamal Murray for the future nightmares.
Murray was quiet for chunks of the afternoon but came up clutch for his Denver Nuggets squad when they needed him the most. His performance mirrored the outing from his Bubble debut back on Aug. 8, when his late-game heroics sent the same Jazz team home (or, down the street, I should say) with a two-point, double-overtime loss. On Monday, Murray only needed one overtime to send Mitchell and the Jazz back to their cozy five-star hotel. The former Kentucky point guard dropped in 36 points, 20 of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime period, to go along with five rebounds and nine assists. He shot 13-20 from the floor, including a 6-9 clip (nice) from deep.
Mitchell was hit with a costly turnover, an eight-second backcourt violation, while Utah was leading 109-105 with under two minutes left in regulation. Murray immediately came back down with a triple to trim the lead down to one and ultimately force the game into overtime. Following the win–and this is the best part–Murray spotted Mitchell outside of his room, which prompted the victor to revel in the loser’s misery.
Jamal Murray seeing Donovan Mitchell right after he dropped 57 points in their playoff matchup.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) August 17, 2020
After Game 1, this is all light-hearted fun. But please Jamal, keep this same energy after a Game 6 or 7. I want to see a brawl in the middle of Mickey Mouse’s backyard.
This is how you keep the UK-UL rivalry alive once the college years are over.
MKG hit a three? Wait, he hit TWO?!
This is not the Michael Kidd-Gilchrist jump shot that I grew up with…
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist's first 3-pointer since Dec. 18, 2019. pic.twitter.com/eYygEk3r6s
— Bobby Karalla (@bobbykaralla) August 18, 2020
Yes, that is career-27.2 percent 3-point specialist MKG drilling an absolute beaut of a shot. Then–and you’re not going to believe this–he hit ANOTHER one just a few possessions later. Including Monday’s game, you can count on one hand the number of times that he’s knocked down two 3s in a single NBA game (it’s four). The one-time Wildcat played just seven total minutes in the Dallas Mavericks 118-110 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and contributed no other stats besides a turnover, but did showcase some solid defense against the Clippers’ lengthy wings. If he can hit one shot from outside per game, that might be enough for the Mavs to continue lobbing him minutes.
Also, Mavericks co-star Kristaps Porzingis was ejected in the middle of the third quarter for what was a rather bogus technical. Despite that, Luka Doncic damn-near willed his team to the win, posting 42 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists (but with 11 turnovers, too). The rising superstar is the first player in league history to score at least 40 points in his first career playoff game.
Clippers forward Patrick Patterson was a DNP-Coaches Decision.
Other notes from the Bubble
- Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter didn’t put up any points but did contribute four rebounds and three assists in just eight minutes against the Philadelphia 76ers. Kanter continues to record the strangest possible stat lines for someone who is 6-foot-10. The Celts took Game 1 by a final score of 109-101.
(2) Raptors lead (7) Nets 1-0
(3) Celtics lead (6) 76ers 1-0
(2) Clippers lead (7) Mavericks 1-0
(3) Nuggets lead (6) Jazz 1-0
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||135-125 (OT) W vs. UTA||36||13-20 (6-9)||5||9||1||0||3||+16||40|
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (DAL)||110-118 L @ LAC||6||2-3 (2-3)||0||0||0||0||1||+2||7|
|Enes Kanter (BOS)||109-101 W vs. PHI||0||0-3 (0-0)||4||3||0||0||1||-1||8|
|Patrick Patterson (LAC)||118-110 W vs. DAL||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TODAY IN THE BUBBLE
1:30: Magic @ Bucks (Bledsoe)
4:00: Heat (Adebayo, Herro) @ Pacers
6:30: Thunder (Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander, Noel) @ Rockets
9:00: Trail Blazers (Gabriel) @ Lakers (Davis, Rondo: questionable)
*All games will air on TNT*