Good afternoon, folks. Jamal Murray was sidelined for the final 53 seconds with a reaggravated thigh injury. Let’s talk NBA Playoffs.
(3) Trail Blazers – 97 @ (2) Nuggets – 90 (Tied 1-1)
- Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray was forced to the sideline during the fourth quarter when he seemingly reaggravated a right thigh injury he sustained in round one against the San Antonio Spurs. Murray initially bruised his right thigh after colliding with Spurs center Jakob Poeltl and then another collision during Wednesday night’s Game 2 forced him to the bench. Murray suffered the injury late in the game and you could immediately tell he was sporting a noticeable limp. He did his best to stay in the game, but he was literally hobbling around out there when the Nuggets were trailing down the stretch.
- “Those screens hurt,” Murray said, according to ESPN. “It is what it is. It hurt for the rest of the game. Couldn’t move, obviously, and coach [Michael Malone] had to take me out. I’m just going to get treatment and just be ready for Game 3. It was definitely hurting.” Murray is expected to undergo treatment for the next 48 hours.
- Murray still posted 15 points and seven assists but shot only 2-8 from beyond the arc. He is also dealing with a shoulder injury, as well. You don’t have to play sports at a high level to know that experiencing any type of excessive force striking into your thigh leaves you feeling like your leg has just been paralyzed. To have that happen twice in such a short amount of time probably means Murray woke up sore as all hell this morning.
- As for the game, the Blazers were able to steal a road win to tie the series heading back to Portland. Despite both Damian Lillard (5-17 shooting) and C.J. McCollum (8-20) struggling from the field, the Blazers were able to spawn enough offense to sneak out with a win where two high-scoring teams failed to top 100 points. Enes Kanter went for 15 points and nine rebounds on 5-10 shooting and did a much better job against Nikola Jokic than in Game 1. Granted, Jokic wasn’t anywhere near as aggressive as he was in Game 1, which was a massive reason why Denver could never get into a groove. He attempted only one shot in the first period and finished the first half with only six points and his Nuggets trailing 50-35. Jokic shot 7-17 from the field overall for 16 points – although he also added 14 rebounds and seven assists – and refused to take over the game and abuse the pick-and-roll against Kanter much as he did in Game 1. The Nuggets as a team shot under 21 percent from three (6-29).
- At one point in the third quarter, the Nuggets trailed by 17 points and managed to cut that lead all the way down to five with under a minute left in the game, but the injury to Murray and some missed open shots give us a tied series. Denver corralled an insane 14 offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter but missed at least 10 of those potential putback scores that came as a result of those second-chance opportunities.
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||90-97 L vs. POR||15||6-18 (2-8)||7||1||1||0||1||-6||35|
|Enes Kanter (POR)||97-90 W @ DEN||15||5-10 (0-0)||9||1||2||2||2||+6||31|
|Trey Lyles (DEN)||90-97 L vs. POR||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)||90-97 L vs. POR||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||97-90 W @ DEN||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
8:00 (ESPN): Raptors (Meeks) @ Sixers (Tied 1-1)