Utah’s Donovan Mitchell nearly had Denver singing the blues on Monday as the Jazz guard erupted for 57 points, the third most in NBA playoff history, but it wasn’t enough as the Nuggets won 135-125 in overtime thanks to a brilliant performance from Jamal Murray.
Murray finished with 36, but it was his 10 points in overtime that stood out as Denver prevailed in Game 1 of the series, which opened the NBA playoffs as a whole. The Nuggets had a chance to win in regulation by Nikola Jokić’s running hook shot at the buzzer rimmed out.
The Jazz were playing without point guard Mike Conley who left the NBA bubble to travel to Ohio for the birth of his son. In his absence Mitchell torched Denver for a Jazz playoff scoring record on 19-for-33 shooting, including going 13-for-13 from the free-throw line. He also added seven assists
Jokić added 29 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for the Nuggets who outscored the Jazz 20-10 in the extra period. Four other players scored in double figures for Denver, Jerami Grant (19) and Monte Morris (14) did so coming off the bench, while starters Michael Porter Jr. (13) and Torrey Craig (11) did so as well.
Game 2 of the series is Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. (TNT, Altitude, 92.5 FM).
Nuggets-Jazz results and schedule