For the second time in this postseason Jamal Murray scored 50 points and for the second game in a row it was Murray who keep the Nuggets season alive as Denver beat Utah 119-107 on Sunday night to force a Game 7 on Tuesday night (6:30 p.m., ABC).
Immediately after another historic performance Murray didn’t want to talk about himself though, instead he focused on the fight for social justice and change while speaking with TNT on the court.
“I play with a lot of heart, play with a lot of passion. And when you’re fighting for something, it means a whole lot more. And we’ve been fighting this fight for a long time, and we’re tired of being tired. It’s an emotional thing because it’s not just me. … It’s lives. It’s not … it’s your life. Imagine losing your life. I don’t know what else to say. Imagine a father losing their life while they have kids. Imagine a father, a son, a brother getting shot seven times in front of their kids. Imagine that.”Murray said after Sunday night’s Game 6 vs. the Jazz
Murray has been wearing custom-made Adidas shoes with the likenesses of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor during the series and on Saturday he placed the shoes in front of the camera before his scheduled interview for two minutes before he came on and answered questions.
Murray took just 24 shots en route to his second 50-point game of the series, making 17 of them, including going 9-for-12 from three-point range. In the process here’s a list of some of the elite company he joined in various ways:
- Only the third player to score 50 points in an elimination game joining Wilt Chamberlain and Sleepy Floyd.
- Joined Michael Jordan as only players to have three straight 40-point, 5-rebound, 5-assists games in the playoffs.
- First player since Jordan in 1993 to have 40 points in three straight playoff games.
His coach Michael Malone had this to say about him after the game:
“I’ve been blessed to have been around some great players in this game — LeBron (James), CP (Chris Paul), Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, but I’ve never seen a guy go 50, 42 and 50 — and two of those games being elimination games.
Jazz let one slip away
As for Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, who scored 44 points in the loss, he thinks the Jazz let Game 6 get away from them.
“We’re just pissed off because that was a winnable game. No one’s down at all. We got one more game. Jamal’s been playing out of his mind. (Nikola) Jokic has been playing great. We just need to find a way to execute. We’ve done it three times. We can do it a fourth.”Mitchell said after the game.
Game 7 experience
The Nuggets should be used to Game 7s at this point, Tuesday will mark the third straight series the Nuggets have played that went the distance. In last year’s postseason Denver beat San Antonio in Game 7 in the first round before losing to Portland in Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinals. Both games were at Pepsi Center.
The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla wrote about Murray’s 50-point performance in the midst of him grieving for Black lives lost and how it helped to lift the spirit of our city that is need of a reason to smile right now.
- Meanwhile, fellow Post columnist Sean Keller wrote about Murray as well. He directed his column to TNT’s Shaquille O’Neal who referred to Murray as “Jamal Murphy” before Game 6.
Nuggets-Jazz series results and schedule
|Game 1||Denver 135, Utah 125, OT||Box Score|
|Game 2||Utah 124, Denver 105||Box score|
|Game 3||Utah 124, Denver 87||Box score|
|Game 4||Utah 129, Denver 127||Box score|
|Game 5||Denver 117, Utah 107||Box score|
|Game 6||Denver 1197, Utah 107||Box score|
|Tue., Sept. 1||6:30 p.m.||ABC|
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