Leading 97-90 with less than nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter on Monday the clock struck midnight on the Nuggets’ chances for an upset as the Clippers outscored Denver 23-10 the rest of the way to win Game 3 and take a 2-1 series lead.
Guard Jamal Murray knew the Nuggets let the crucial game get away from them, he had this to say afterward:
“We missed a huge opportunity tonight. I think that’s why it’s worse because it was nothing they did. They didn’t do anything to take us out of our game. We just missed shots, turned the ball over, couple defensive lapses and that was the game. We were up the whole game, had them on their heels. Like I said, it was self-inflicted. Those are the tough ones to go back to the hotel with.”
Murray finished with 14 points on 5-for-17 shooting in the game. He also added nine assists and four rebounds.
Jokić comes up big
One of the biggest reasons Denver lead for much of the game was due to the play of All-NBA center Nikola Jokić, who was questionable due to a wrist injury suffered in Game 2.
When all was said and done Jokić finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds and eights assists, the only negative was the seven turnovers he was responsible for.
”They’re talented. ‘They’re favorite on paper and everything, have maybe better starting unit, more players, whatever. Coach, whatever. … Today, we didn’t close well.Jokić said after Denver’s 113-107 loss.
Rookie Michael Porter Jr. was another bright spot for Denver. Porter was Denver’s second-leading score with 18 points off the bench to go along with 10 rebounds.
- The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla wrote how we all know the NBA doesn’t want the Nuggets to win, instead the league is rooting for an all-L.A. Western Conference Finals.
- TheAthletic.com’s Kendra Andrews wrote about how the Nuggets are left to lament the one that got away after disheartening Game 3 loss.
- L.A.’s Patrick Beverley was finished $25,000 for verbal abuse of a game official for his actions at the end of Game 2 that earned him two technical fouls and an ejection.
Nuggets-Clippers results and schedule
|Game 1||Clippers 120, Nuggets 97||Box score|
|Game 2||Nuggets 110, Clippers 101||Box score|
|Game 3||Clippers 113, Nuggets 107||Box score|
|Game 4||Clippers 96, Nuggets 85||Box score|
|Game 5||Nuggets 111, Clippers 105||Box score|
|Game 6||Nuggets 111, Clippers 98||Box score|
|Game 7||Nuggets 104, Clippers 89||Box score|
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