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BBNBA: Murray’s Clutch Shot Pushes Nuggets Past Hornets

(Bart Young | NBAE Getty Images)

(Bart Young | NBAE Getty Images)

Good afternoon, folks! I’m down in Greenville, SC covering the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, but we have other basketball to discuss first. Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

Murray’s heroics save Denver against Charlotte

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray and Charlotte Hornets rookie P.J. Washington both made some clutch plays down the stretch, but it was Murray’s shot with 5.1 seconds left in the game that propelled the Nuggets to a tight, 114-112, road win over the Hornets.

With the game tied at 112, Murray canned an impossible fadeaway jumper from the baseline that was smoother than butter. Hornets guard Terry Rozier had a shot to steal the win at the buzzer, but his potential game-winning three-pointer careened off the back iron.

The Nuggets had just suffered a 16-point loss the game before against the struggling Golden State Warriors and Murray promised after the game that things would be different going forward. Turns out, he was right. He held himself accountable and his entire team responded. Denver even trailed by eight points late in the fourth quarter before fighting their way back.

”My energy was different and I was more aggressive,” Murray said after the game. ”I was talking more, playing defense harder and doing all of the little things.”

The former Wildcat posted 18 points, three rebounds, and six assists while shooting 6-14 from the field.

P.J. Washington added 20 points, six rebounds, and three assists for the Hornets, as he shot 6-15 from the floor and connected on three shots from distance. Washington dropped in a hammer dunk down the stretch that gave his team a lead and he even whipped out this beautiful touch pass earlier in the game.

Mulder locked up by Clippers defense

Mychal Mulder had the benefit of not having to face a top-5 NBA defense through his first four games at basketball’s top-level. In the three consecutive games that Mulder had recorded double-digits, his Golden State Warriors had faced the 19th, 30th, and 13th best NBA defenses, respectively. On Thursday night, the Warriors ran into Toronto Raptors and their No. 2 ranked defense in the entire NBA.

Even in Steph Curry’s return from a broken hand that forced him to sit out 58 straight games, the Warriors were locked up by the Raps before falling 121-113 in The Bay. Mulder finished with eight points and three rebounds on 3-9 shooting and a 2-8 clip from beyond the arc.

Other notes

  • De’Aaron Fox led the BBNBA in scoring with 23 points for the Sacramento Kings in its 125-108 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. The one-time Kentucky point guard recorded three rebounds and seven assists, as well, while shooting 9-17 from the field.

Check out the full stat sheet below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)108-125 L vs. PHI239-17 (0-4)37111-1236
P.J. Washington Jr. (CHA)112-114 L vs. DEN206-15 (3-8)63101-631
Jamal Murray (DEN)114-112 W @ CHA186-14 (2-6)36101-834
Mychal Mulder (GSW)113-121 L vs. TOR83-9 (2-8)31102+123
Patrick Patterson (LAC)120-105 W @ HOU00-2 (0-1)10001-115
Malik Monk (CHA)112-114 L vs. DENDNP-Suspended----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Hawks (Labissiere-out) @ Wizards (Wall-out) 

7:30: Spurs (Johnson, Lyles) @ Nets

7:30: Thunder (Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander, Noel) @ Knicks (Knox, Randle)

8:00: Jazz @ Celtics (Kanter)

8:00: Pacers @ Bulls

8:00: Magic @ Timberwolves (Towns-out, Vanderbilt)

8:00 (ESPN): Heat (Adebayo, Herro-out) @ Pelicans (Miller-out)

8:30: Grizzlies @ Mavericks (Cauley-Stein, Kidd-Gilchrist)

9:00: Trail Blazers (Gabriel) @ Suns (Booker)

10:30 (ESPN): Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Lakers (Davis, Rondo)

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA. Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan