Jamal Murray did not look like he was playing his first basketball game in five months.
Saturday afternoon the former Wildcat shook off a hamstring injury to make his NBA Bubble debut for the Denver Nuggets. When his team needed him most, Murray delivered.
The final 15 minutes looked more like a one-on-one matchup between Murray and former Louisville Cardinal Donovan Mitchell. The players traded one big shot after another. As the clock neared zero, it appeared that Murray had won the duel.
Jamal Murray huge down the stretch in his return for Denver pic.twitter.com/UPU3tzyfLJ
— Nikowob Joki? (@WorldWideWob) August 8, 2020
Not so fast my friends. The Nuggets blinked and Mitchell scored five points in the waning seconds to force overtime. His heroics gave the Jazz a two-point advantage with 3.4 seconds remaining, enough time for hijinks to derail the game. Nikola Jokic made a move to the bucket to tie the game, but the scorekeeper never started the clock. Officials had to get out the stopwatch and time the replay to make sure he got the shot off in time. Jokic beat the clock by .3 of a second.
Jokic ties the game but the clock didn't start ? pic.twitter.com/OsahL92Rb6
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 8, 2020
The Jazz got cold during the extended review. Naturally, that’s where the Canadian sensation thrives. He buried a HUGE step-back three to give the Nuggets a five-point lead that not even a quick Mitchell three-pointer could overcome.
JAMAL. MURRAY. IS. BACK. pic.twitter.com/Oj0ngYniyv
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) August 8, 2020
Murray was two assists shy of a triple-double, recording 23 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in the Nuggets’ 134-132 victory. Mitchell led all scorers with 35 points.