Denver Nuggets ahead of Utah Jazz to finish 3-1 comeback

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Floride – Jamal Murray helped a broken heart Donovan Mitchell on the floor for a handshake and a hug, a show of respect between the players who had a memorable battle in the bubble.They traded historic offensive fireworks for six games, before Game 7 turned into an old-fashioned defensive fight.

“It was a big battle. I don’t know what else to say. I am speechless, ”Murray said.

The ending left everyone speechless.

Nikola Jokic made the tie-breaker basket with 27 seconds left and the Nuggets advanced to the second round of the playoffs, beating Utah Jazz 80-78 on Tuesday night when Mike ConleyThe 3 ring pointers have turned to the buzzer.

The Nuggets became the 12th team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a series, but only after losing a 19-point lead in that game.

“A lot of teams would have just given in, especially considering that we are here 57 days from our families,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

After Jokic’s basket, the Jazz handed the ball to Mitchell after a time-out. The Nuggets stole it from him and ran for a quick break, but Torrey Craig missed the layup. Utah bounced back and pushed the ball across the floor to Conley, whose jumper looked good until he fell.

“It looked good, man. Sometimes that’s just the way it works, ”Mitchell said.

“We fought and came back. I would go to war with any of these guys in the locker room, any of these coaches. We could easily have chalked it up in the first half. That’s all you can really ask for.

Jokic had 30 points and 14 rebounds and Murray scored 17 points. No.3 seed Denver qualified to face the second-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals.

“Before the series started, I felt it was going to be an interesting series. But after 3-1 I didn’t think it was going to be this interesting, ”Jokic said. So I’m happy that we won the game and I’m happy that we won the series. ”

Mitchell scored 22 points and Rudy Gobert finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds after a huge second half for the Jazz.

Murray only shot 7 for 21, a far cry from his performances in the last three games. So the Nuggets turned more to Jokic, their All-Star center who threw a short hook in the lane after the Jazz tied him at 78.

“That’s when you need Nikola to step up,” said Malone.

Murray and Mitchell became the first pair of players to have two 50-point games in the same series, but the middle men were the biggest factors in this one.

After a calm first half in which Mitchell was all the Jazz had, Gobert began to dominate the paint, keeping his possessions alive on offense and stopping Denver on defense.

But the Nuggets have prevailed in their third Game 7 of the past two years, having beaten San Antonio in the first round last year before being eliminated by Portland. They played three more do-or-die games in the bubble to extend their stay.

Denver controlled the first half and was 19 points ahead a minute into the third quarter. Mitchell went on to score nine straight runs before Conley hit a 3 pointer which brought him down to 55-48. The Jazz reduced the score to 65-60 after Gobert converted a three-point play for the final points of the period.

Utah then got the top eight of the fourth, the last six by Gobert, to open a 68-65 lead.

“What I remember tonight, we were dead in the water in the first half and we weren’t playing well in a lot of ways,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “Our group continued to grind and compete. This is as important to me as everything that has happened in the game.

The Jazz won three straight games after Denver won Game 1 in overtime and were set to put the streak aside as they led by 15 points in the second half of Game 5.

But Murray, who scored 50 points in Game 4, rallied the Nuggets and finished with 42, then came back with 50 again in Game 6, a three-game total of 142 that had been overtaken in the playoffs by only Jerry. West and Michael. Jordan.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Denver went to 3-3 in all 7 games. … Michael Porter Jr. had 10 points and nine rebounds.

Jazz: Mitchell scored 14 straight points in Utah at halftime. … Utah only scored 15 points in the second quarter after being held back at 20 in Game 6.

MESSAGE DE MITCHELL

Mitchell said the pain on his face was nothing compared to the families of people who were victims of police brutality and racism.

” I can only imagine. I meant that. I wanted to publicize that, ”he said. “What I’m feeling right now is nothing compared to that. I appreciate the NBA and everyone in this league for continuing to get this message out. It doesn’t stop. I just wanted to say that. Whether we won or lost, that was gonna be the first thing to say. I should have said it first.

FOLLOWING

The first game of the Nuggets-Clippers series is on Thursday.

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