Jamal Murray saved the Nuggets’ season

Jamal Murray saved the Nuggets’ season

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Through the first seven quarters of the Nuggets’ playoff series against the Spurs, Jamal Murray had 20 points on 8-32 (25 percent) shooting. Denver lost Game 1 and trailed San Antonio by seven entering the fourth quarter of Game 2 on Tuesday. Going down 0-2 at home to the Spurs would have spelled probable doom for the Nuggets’ virgin playoff run with this core, and would have put quite a sour shroud over the whole otherwise successful season.

So then, of course, Murray went 8-9 for 21 points in the fourth quarter of Game 2, rescuing Denver from a hole he helped put them in and tying the series 1-1 as it shifts to South Texas.

It wasn’t all Murray, of course: Nikola Jokic was quite good in Game 2, and Gary Harris and Paul Millsap got their offenses on track. The Spurs were pretty ineffective from long-range (5-18) and didn’t get much from the bench, surely impacted by Denver’s good reserve corps.

This is a good, competitive series. Praise be to Maple Curry for saving it from the burn pile.

Scores

Magic 82, Raptors 111
Series tied 1-1

Spurs 105, Nuggets 114
Series tied 1-1

Thunder 94, Blazers 114
Portland leads 2-0

Schedule

Pacers at Celtics, 7 ET, TNT
Boston leads 1-0

Pistons at Bucks, 8 ET, NBA TV
Milwaukee leads 1-0

Jazz at Rockets, 9:30 ET, TNT
Houston leads 1-0

Links

Kawhi Leonard went bonkers and Kyle Lowry tossed his ghosts off a bridge as Toronto wallopped Orlando in Game 2. Now we see if the Magic can recover at home or if the Raptors can close out the series early.

The Blazers do not like the Thunder very much, and it shows. Russell Westbrook shot poorly (even for him) and Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum did not. Portland’s up 2-0. Patience is virtuous. OKC could still make this a series. This has been Obvious Statements Corner with Tom Ziller.

How Dame keeps the Blazers believing.

Seven plays that sum up the Clippers’ historic comeback. Two simple reasons the Warriors gave up a 31-point lead. Three simple reasons the Clippers pulled it off. How it feels to be a beleagured East Coast Clippers fan who slept through the comeback.

Lou Williams barely eats before games. Part of me thinks one of the greatest reserves in league history shouldn’t change a thing. The other part of me says EAT, DUDE!

Dan Devine on Jamal Murray’s timely reincarnation.

DeMarcus Cousins tore his quad. He’s probably done for the postseason, with a small chance he could be available in the NBA Finals. How sad.

Pascal Siakam gives his team the most value for the salary in the NBA.

Breanna Stewart tore her ACL in her last game in Europe, where the reigning WNBA MVP spent her offseason making real money because the WNBA paid its best player $56,000 last season.

Paul Pierce seems bothered that Miami fans chanted “Paul Pierce sucks!” during Dwyane Wade’s final home game. I’m sure knowing that Paul Pierce dislikes hearing “Paul Pierce sucks!” chants will discourage any further fans from interrupting sporting events with “Paul Pierce sucks!” chants. (My kingdom for a “Paul Pierce sucks!” chant at, like, Wimbledon.)

Jeanie Buss, meet accountability.

And finally: is Lawler’s Law true?

Be excellent to each other.

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