Categories
Nuggets

Nuggets complete historic comeback from 3-1 down vs. Jazz

In a game reminiscent of NBA playoff games from years ago the Nuggets held on to beat the Jazz 80-78 in a defensive battle to complete a historic comeback from down 3-1 in the first round series. Next up for Denver is the Western Conference semifinals against the L.A. Clippers starting Thursday night.

The Nuggets led by as many as 19 points in the game, but the Jazz battled back and the final outcome was determined thanks to Nikola Jokić’s offense and Gary Harris’ defense.

Jokić put the Nuggets ahead 80-78 with a turnaround shot over Utah’s Rudy Gobert with 27 seconds to play. On the ensuing possession Harris knocked the ball away from Donovan Mitchell, the Nuggets streaked up the court with it and then things really got crazy.

Denver simply needed to hold onto the ball and force Utah to foul. Instead Torrey Craig went up for a semi-contested layup and missed. Utah got the rebound, dashed back up the floor with the clock winding down and guard Mike Conley got a good look for three at the buzzer and the ball went half-way down before bouncing out as the Nuggets survived.

Jokić leads the way

While the past three games have been all about Jamal Murray’s exploits on offense, and rightfully so, Tuesday night Jokić led the way for Denver. Denver’s All-NBA center finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds and four assists to go along with the game-winning basket.

“Before the series started, I felt it was going to be an interesting series, but after 3-1, I didn’t think it would be this interesting. … We made a historic night.”

Jokić said after the game.

Making history

With the win Denver became just the 12th team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit and rally to win a best-of-seven series, and the first since Cleveland did so in the 2016 NBA Finals against Golden State.

“The locker room was very subdued, very calm. No, of course, it was excitement. We’re the 12th team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit, and our guys should be proud of that, they should be excited. We get to extend our stay.”

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone joked after his team’s thrilling win.

It also marks the first time the Nuggets have won a postseason season series in back-to-back seasons since the 1984-’86 seasons.

Complete Nuggets-Jazz Game 7 highlights

Tip-ins

Denver won despite scoring just 15 points in both the third and fourth quarters. Utah also was held to 15 points in the second quarter. For comparison in Sunday’s Game 6 Murray alone scored 25 points in both the first and second halves.

  • After scoring 50, 42 and 50 points in the previous three games Murray was held to 17 points on 7-for-21 shooting in Game 7. The only other Nuggets player to score in double figures was rookie Michael Porter Jr. who finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists.
  • Murray did finish with the most points ever for a Nuggets player in a playoff series. His 221 easily bested Jokić’s 190 from last year’s seven-game series against Portland.
  • Mitchell led Utah with 22 points to go with 9 rebounds, but he also turned the ball over 9 times as well. Gobert had a big night too scoring 19 points and grabbing 18 rebounds.
  • The Denver Post’s Sean Keller wrote about Jokić’s brilliant performance, noting that the Joker is one of only four players this century to have at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in every Game 7 he’s played. The other players on the list are: Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan and LeBron James.
  • Mark Kiszla of The Post turned his attention to Denver’s next opponent the Clippers, noting that if the Nuggets thought Utah was tough, the Clippers are something else entirely.
  • At TheAthletic.com Joe Vardon wrote about how it was a Game 7 unlike any other, because it felt like it was OK to lose.
    While Nuggets reporter Kendra Andrews wrote about the Nuggets advancing while playing in their third straight seven game series.
    And Nick Kosmider said that by vanquishing the Game 7 demons from last year’s lost to the Trail Blazers, Denver now gets a valuable test against the Clippers.

Nuggets-Clippers series schedule

GameResult
Game 1Clippers 120, Nuggets 97Box score
Game 2Nuggets 110, Clippers 101Box score
Game 3Clippers 113, Nuggets 107Box score
Game 4Clippers 96, Nuggets 85Box score
Game 5Nuggets 111, Clippers 105Box score
Game 6Nuggets 111, Clippers 98Box score
Game 7Nuggets 104, Clippers 89Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series 4-3

Nuggets-Jazz series results

GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

Latest Denver-sports.com posts

Nuggets stun Clippers, advance to West finals

For the past 26 years the biggest win in Nuggets’ franchise history was when Denver knocked off the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round of the 1994 NBA playoffs and Dikembe Mutombo was seen on the floor clutching the ball over his head afterward. It’s safe to say there’s a new No. 1 in town […]

Broncos surrender late lead in 16-14 loss to Titans

In an ending that was eerily reminiscent of so many losses last season, the Broncos watched the Titans drive 83 yards on 12 plays, capped off by Stephen Gostkowski’s 25-yard field goal, as Tennessee rallied to beat Denver 16-14 in the season opener on Monday Night Football at Empower Field. When it was over, it […]

Broncos-Titans betting guide and offers

The Broncos 2020 season finally begins tonight as Denver welcomes in Tennessee to Empower Field in the second game of ESPN’s Monday Night Football doubleheader with kickoff scheduled for 8:20 p.m. Tennessee favored At DraftKings Sportsbook Denver is listed at +3, in what was a pick ’em game before news of Von Miller’s injury broke. […]

Rockies fall as bullpen, offense again stumble

Starting pitcher Ryan Castellani struggled through 5 1/3 innings Sunday, but somehow allowed only one unearned run and left with the Rockies leading 3-1. Unfortunately Colorado wouldn’t score again, while the Angels rallied for a 5-3 victory at Coors Field. Castellani allowed just one hit, but walked six and hit a batter over the course […]

Nuggets rally, force Game 7 vs. Clippers

Despite trailing by 19 points in the third quarter the Nuggets rallied on Sunday afternoon in Orlando to beat the Clippers 111-98 and force Game 7 in the Western Conference semifinals. Center Nikola Jokić led Denver with 34 points, 14 rebounds and six assists. He had this to say after the win: “Maybe this is […]

Top Colorado sportsbook offers for NFL opening weekend

With the NFL season underway, the NBA and NHL playoffs still going and the MLB season winding down the sportsbooks in Colorado have tons of great offers going this weekend. Let’s look at some of the best. FanDuel FanDuel continues to offer up great promotions and this weekend is no exception. Friday they have an […]

Categories
Nuggets

Nuggets-Jazz Game 7 preview

Despite falling behind 3-1 in their best-of-seven series with the Jazz, the Nuggets have battled back to force Game 7 tonight at 6:30 p.m. on ABC. With that in mind here’s a roundup of the best stories to get you ready for tonight’s game.

Murray vs. Mitchell

TheAthletic.com’s John Hollinger wrote about the battle between Denver’s Jamal Murray and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, described as a “shootout for the ages.”

Both have had two 50-point games in the series, becoming just the third and fourth players in NBA history to have multiple 50-point games in the same series. For the Nuggets Murray has scored 142 points in the past three games with just five turnovers total.

Calipari on Murray

During Murray’s one season playing college basketball he played for legendary coach John Calipari, The Denver Post’s Mike Singer talked to the Kentucky coach on what it’s been like watching his former player shine on the biggest of stages.

Among other things he said this about Murray:

“How good can he be? We don’t know yet, because what he’s done is he’s beginning to master his craft. … There’s not one shot that he shoots that he thinks is a bad shot. If he gets it off, it was a good shot. That’s what Jamal is.”

Harris could be the X-factor

At TheDNVR.com Harrison Wind wrote about how Denver guard Gary Harris could be the X-factor in tonight’s elimination game.

Game 6 was the first NBA game Harris had played in since March, but he managed to play 21 points and held Utah’s Jordan Clarkson to just 11 points on 5-for-14 shooting.

“To welcome him back in an elimination game I think was reassuring to our players. Our guys trust Gary. I trust Gary. He went out there and defended at a high level.”

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said about Harris.

MPJ deserves praise too

TheAthletic’s Kendra Andrews took at a look at what Michael Porter Jr.’s rookie season has been like through the eyes of those who have taught him.

While The Post’s Sean Keller wrote that while Murray is clearly the Nuggets postseason MVP, both Porter and Harris deserve game balls too.

Chance to make some money

And lastly, on the sports betting side of things, DraftKings is offering fans a chance to bet on the Nuggets and profit based on how many points Murray scores tonight.

The Game 7 scoring special goes like this: Place at $27 or larger wager on the Nuggets moneyline tonight and you get $1 towards a free bet for every point Murray scores. So if Murray scores 40 points you’d get a $40 free bet.

As for the moneyline bet, if you bet $27 and the Nuggets win you’d get $51.84 back, plus however much money for the free bet based on Murray’s point total.

Whether the Nuggets win or lose you’ll get the free bet portion of the special.

Nuggets-Jazz series results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

Latest posts

Rockies swept by Padres, nine-game homestand on tap

The Rockies-Padres series mercifully came to a close for Colorado, as San Diego finished off a three-game sweep with a 5-3 win. Colorado lost in walk-off fashion Monday (1-0) and got routed Tuesday (14-5) before dropping another close game to finish out the series Wednesday. The Rockies are off today before starting a nine-game homestand […]

Porter calls out coaches, teammates after Nuggets’ 96-85 loss Wednesday

The Nuggets lost to the Clippers 96-85 in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals Wednesday night in Orlando, but it’s what happened after the game that quickly became the bigger story. Denver rookie Michael Porter Jr. scored 15 points in the first half on 5-for-6 shooting, he finished the game with 15 points on […]

William Hill latest sportsbook app to go live in Colorado

On Tuesday William Hill, the largest sports betting app in the U.S., became the latest sportsbook to go live in Colorado. The sportsbook app is available on both iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded for free via the App Store and Google Play Store respectively. Sign-up offer William Hill currently is offering customers […]

CU Buffs-PointsBet enter into historic deal

On Tuesday it was announced that the University of Colorado and PointsBet, a global sportsbook operator, had signed a five-year corporate sponsorship agreement. The exclusive partnership is the first ever between a sports betting operator and a major NCAA Division-I athletics program located outside the state of Nevada. It also is believed to be the […]

Padres hammer Rockies, González 14-5

A night after getting shutout by San Diego things started off well for Colorado. Nolan Arenado hit a three-run homer, his first on the road this season, in the top of the first to give the Rockies a 3-0 lead, then the bottom of the first happened. Colorado starter Chi Chi González walked three and […]

Categories
Nuggets

Murray scores 50 again as Nuggets win, force Game 7 vs. Jazz

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.

Historic performance

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.

Tip-ins

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.

Nuggets-Jazz series results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Best-of-seven series tied 3-3
DateTime (MT)Channels
Tue., Sept. 16:30 p.m.ABC
*If necessary, all games played on neutral court in Orlando

Murray drops 50 points to force Game 7

Broncos’ Von Miller likely out for the season

Broncos linebacker Von Miller is reportedly done for the season after sustaining a “freak injury” to his ankle near the end of the team’s practice on Tuesday. It is devastating news for both Miller and the Broncos. Miller had undertaken a rigorous offseason training program after he registered only eight sacks last season. The hope […]

Padres walk off Rockies 1-0 Monday night

Kyle Freeland threw six shutout innings, but it wasn’t enough as the Padres won 1-0 on Jurickson Profar’s walk-off double in the ninth inning Monday night in San Diego. With the loss Colorado is now 20-21 with 19 games left in the season. As it currently stand the Rockies are on the outside of the […]

Nuggets let Game 3 slip away, trail Clippers 2-1

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 […]

Nuggets no match for Clippers in Game 1

The Nuggets and Clippers were tied after the first quarter in Thursday night’s opening game of the Western Conference semifinals, from that point on L.A. outscored Denver by 23 and rolled to an easy 120-97 win. Nuggets center Nikola Jokić struggled on both ends of the floor in the loss as he finished with just […]

Avs-Stars Game 7 today at 2 p.m. on USA

In what can only be described as an embarrassing decision and a slap in the face to both Avalanche and Stars players as well as their fan bases the NHL announced late last night the start time for the teams’ Game 7. It will be this afternoon at 2 p.m. and the game will be […]

Hutchinson, MacKinnon lead Avs to Game 7

Michael Hutchinson stopped 27-of-28 shots and Nathan MacKinnon extended his points streak to 14 games with a goal and an assists as the Avalanche beat the Stars 4-1 Wednesday night to force a Game 7 in the teams’ Western Conference semifinals series. It marks the first time in Colorado has ever forced a Game 7 […]

Categories
Nuggets

Nuggets try to stave off elimination vs. Jazz

After three straight losses to the Jazz the Nuggets are faced with the end of their season this afternoon (4:30 p.m., TNT, Altitude) unless they can figure out a way to slow down a Utah team that has scored at least 124 points in all four games of the series to date.

To make matters even more unpleasant for the Nuggets is the fact that due to the NBA bubble in Orlando they end up running into members of the Jazz on their off day. On Monday, on the way to his team’s film session, Paul Millsap had to share an elevator with several Utah players.

“It’s really awkward and weird, but it’s the situation that we’re in.”

Millsap, a former member of the Jazz, told The Denver Post of the unfortunate elevator ride.

The primary objective for Denver this afternoon will be figuring out a way to slow down Donovan Mitchell who already became just the third player in NBA playoff history to have two 50-point games in the same series.

“He’s playing out of this world right now.”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said about Mitchell.

Denver might get a little help in that regard as injured guard Gary Harris has been upgraded to questionable for today’s game. Although it’s also questionable how effective Harris would be since his last action in an NBA game came way back on March 11, more than five months ago.

Unless Denver manages to rally from this 3-1 deficit it will be hard to consider this season anything other than underwhelming at best. The Nuggets reached Game 7 of the Western Conference quarterfinals a year ago and had their eyes set on bigger and better things this year.

  • Nuggets-Jazz results and schedule
GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

Categories
Nuggets

Murray’s 50 not enough as Nuggets fall to Jazz

Jamal Murray and scored 50 points, but it wasn’t enough as Donovan Mitchell poured in 51 as Utah beat Denver 129-127 on Sunday night to take commanding 3-1 series lead.

It marked the first time in NBA playoff history that two opposing players each reached the 50-point plateau in the same game. In the process Mitchell also joined Michael Jordan (vs. Cleveland in 1988) and Allen Iverson (vs. Toronto in 2001) to have multiple 50-point games in the same playoff series.

For the Nuggets the result is all that matters at this point, as Denver must win the next three games against Utah or else its season is over.

“We’re not going to roll over, we’re going to fight. And I was really encouraged after the game, after a tough loss, down 3-1. There’s no quit in our team. Those guys are fired up. They’re ready to get back out there and play Game 5 and try to stretch and extend this series.”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said after the loss.

Denver tweaked its starting lineup after getting blown out in Games 2 and 3. Malone benched Michael Porter Jr. and Torrey Craig and inserted Jerami Grant and Monte Morris into starting five.

Denver had a one-point lead at halftime, but got outscored 33-24 in the third quarter and were unable to fully recover in the fourth quarter. There also was a massive free-throwing shooting difference in the game, with the Jazz attempting 36 free throws to the Nuggets 13.

“We’ve struggled to get to the line, but I’m not going to really comment on that. I’m not giving the league any of my money.”

Malone said after the game.

Murray had the same thoughts, as he had this to say:

“I’m not going to speak on it. I don’t want to get fined.”

Game 5 is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. (TNT, Altitude).

  • Murray’s 50 points were the most in Nuggets playoff history. He also added 11 rebounds and seven assists in the loss.
  • Nikola Jokić had a solid game as he scored 29 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists. He struggled from three-point range though, going 3-for-10 from deep.
  • The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla wrote that the Nuggets to to wake up and stop dreaming they can win a championship with the way this team currently is constructed.
  • My thoughts: I tend to agree with what Kiszla has to say about this Nuggets team. They’re very similar to a lot of the Nuggets teams I grew up watching, great offense, but no defense. And when it comes to crunch time, especially in the playoffs, you can’t think you’re just going to outscore teams.
    Yes, it will work sometimes. You might even be able to win a playoff series here or there, but making it to and then winning a championship is nearly impossible that way.
    Tim Connelly and company have done a remarkable job drafting and developing talent. Malone appears to have fostered a great team environment. But if this organization ever hopes to win an NBA championship it needs to start doing it with defense.
    The Golden State Warriors championship teams of the past few years were great offensive powerhouses, but they also were Top 5 defenses and that’s what made them so good.
    Until the Nuggets either embrace playing defense on an nightly basis or bring in a few top defenders to get the job done they’ll remain part of the NBA’s second class.
  • Nuggets-Jazz results and schedule
GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Utah leads best-of-seven series 3-1
DateTime (MT)Channels
Tue., Aug. 254:30 p.m.TNT, Altitude
*Thur., Aug. 272 p.m.ESPN, Altitude
Sat., Aug. 29TBDTNT, Altitude
*If necessary, all games played on neutral court in Orlando
Categories
Avalanche Broncos Nuggets Rockies

Avs rout Coyotes, advance to semifinals

Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and two assists, Nazem Kadri added two goals of his own and Philipp Grubauer stopped all but one shot as the Avs ousted the Coyotes with a resounding 7-1 win Wednesday in Edmonton.

Colorado won Games 4 and 5 of the first-round series by identical 7-1 scores, contests that were much different than the tight opening three games.

Next up for the Avs is a matchup with either Dallas, St. Louis or Vancouver in the Western Conference semifinals. If Dallas wins its series with Calgary, the Stars will be the opponent. If the Flames win then Colorado will face the winner of the Blues-Canucks series.

Dallas currently leads Calgary 3-2, while St. Louis and Vancouver are tied 2-2.

As for Wednesday’s game, it marked the first time in team history Colorado has scored seven goals or more in back-to-back playoff games and the 22 total goals is the most for the Avs in a five-game playoff series.

“Our time has arrived. We haven’t won anything but it’s definitely a different feel after winning this series. We’re a hungry group.”

MacKinnon said after his team’s 7-1 win.
GameResult
Game 1Colorado 3, Arizona 0Box score
Game 2Colorado 3, Arizona 2Box score
Game 3Arizona 4, Colorado 2Box score
Game 4Colorado 7, Arizona 1Box score
Game 5Colorado 7, Arizona 1Box score
Colorado wins best-of-seven series 4-1

Nuggets

Utah blitzed Denver from deep Wednesday, to the tune of 20 made threes, as the Jazz waltzed past the Nuggets 124-105 and evened the best-of-seven series at 1-1.

Not only did the Jazz make a ton of threes in the game, they did so at an alarming rate of 45%, which unfortunately is the same percentage the Nuggets gave up during the eight seeding games.

“I think it’s a matter of executing the game plan, knowing who you’re guarding, understanding the flow of the game, communication. I’m sure when we watch the film it will be all of the above, to your question.”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said when asked what his team can do to slow the Jazz’s three-point shooting barrage.

Utah was once again led by Donovan Mitchell who finished with 30 points on 6-for-7 shooting from deep. Denver was led by Nikola Jokić and Michael Porter Jr. who each finished with 28 points. The only other Nuggets who scored in double figures were Jamal Murray (14) and Monte Morris (10).

The teams are off today before Game 3 on Friday at 2 p.m. (TNT, Altitude).

GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Best-of-seven series tied 1-1
DateTime (MT)Channels
Fri., Aug. 212 p.m.TNT, Altitude
Sun., Aug. 237 p.m.TNT, Altitude
Tue., Aug. 25TBDTBD, Altitude
*Thur., Aug. 27TBDTBD, Altitude
Sat., Aug. 29TBDTBD, Altitude
*If necessary, all games played on neutral court in Orlando

Rockies

The Rockies returned home Wednesday, but the results stayed the same as the Astros beat Colorado for the third day in a row, this time by a final score of 13-6.

Colorado has now lost eight of its past 10 games and third baseman Nolan Arenado saw his average fall to .225 after going 0-for-3 Wednesday.

  • Colorado and Houston finish their four-game, home-and-home series this afternoon (1:10 p.m., AT&T Sports Net) at Coors Field as Germán Márquez (2-3, 2.25 ERA) will try to end the Rockies skid against Houston’s Cristian Javier (2-1, 2.91 ERA).
  • In other news Wednesday the Rockies placed outfielder David Dahl on the 10-day IL due to lower back soreness. To take his place on the roster Colorado recalled top prospect Brendan Rodgers. Rodgers didn’t start, but did come on late and went 1-for-2 and drove in a pair of runs.
    My thoughts: The Rockies need to play Rodgers as much as possible. Put him at second base in place of Ryan McMahon who’s hitting .208 and see what he can do. The season is quickly slipping away, so see if Rodgers can provide a spark. It also would allow the club a chance to see how good Rodgers can be at in the majors.

Broncos

Tight end Jake Butt spoke to the media yesterday and talked about how his recovery from his third ACL tear has gone. Among other things he spoke about how he debated coming back at times during his recovery, but he’s now motivated to earn a spot on the Broncos roster.

  • I wrote yesterday how in the battle for the starting center job Austin Schlottmann has gotten the bulk of the work with the first time. Well, yesterday Schlottmann did start with the first team, but rookie Lloyd Cushenberry got his first chance working with the No. 1 offense later in practice.
  • TheDNVR’s Zac Stevens wrote about how rookies other than Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler are starting to step up.
  • Head coach Vic Fangio has been happy with what he’s seen from rookie linebacker Justin Strnad.

Around the globe

Forbes.com released its list of the high-paid female athletes for 2020, amazing the top nine women on the list are all tennis players. Surprisingly, at least to me, Serena Williams checked in at No. 2 on the list behind Naomi Osaka.

The only non-tennis player in the Top 10, at No. 10 is soccer’s Alex Morgan.

Categories
Avalanche Broncos CSU Rams Nuggets Rockies

Avs rout Coyotes, take 3-1 series lead

Avalanche

The Colorado offense exploded for seven goals in a 7-1 Game 4 rout of Arizona on Monday, leaving the Avalanche one game away from advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Matt Nieto got things started for the Avs late in the first period and then Nazem Kadri added two goals of his own before the first intermission to give Colorado a 3-0 lead. Joonas Donskoi added one in the second and then a trio of goals in the third came from Cale Makar, Matt Calvert and Mikko Rantanen as Colorado scored seven goals in a playoff game for the first time since 2002.

Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper, who was almost single-handedly keeping the Coyotes in the series, was replaced to start the third period.

“It was nice to get a few past him. We didn’t change anything, honestly. We just got some bounces. We know we’re one of the best goal-scoring teams in the league this year, so try to stick with it. We’re such a deep team that eventually it was going to go in.”

Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon said about Kuemper.

The Avs will try to close out the series on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. (NBCSN, Altitude, 92.5 FM).

  • MacKinnon got into a scuffle late in the game with Arizona’s Christian Fischer after Makar was roughed up on a dangerous hit by Lawson Crouse. MacKinnon threw Fischer to the ice and delivered a couple punches as well, Calvert had this to say about the fight:
    “I think Fischer cross-checked the wrong guy in the face. You saw what Nate did to him. He absolutely manhandled him. Probably could have thrown 10 punches and knocked him out. I’m glad he didn’t throw the punches … They try to get to him and he’s just bigger than them.”
  • The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers had five takeaways from Game 4, including how important Kadri has been to Colorado so far in the postseason.
  • TheDNVR.com’s Evan Rawal handed out his Game 4 grades, not surprisingly a lot of the Avs got pretty high marks.
  • Avalanche-Coyotes results and schedule
GameResult
Game 1Colorado 3, Arizona 0Box score
Game 2Colorado 3, Arizona 2Box score
Game 3Arizona 4, Colorado 2Box score
Game 4Colorado 7, Arizona 1Box score
Game 5Colorado 7, Arizona 1Box score
Colorado wins best-of-seven series 4-1

Nuggets

Donovan Mitchell scored 57 points, the third most in NBA playoff history, but it wasn’t enough as Jamal Murray stole the show late and the Nuggets rallied to beat the Jazz 135-125 in overtime in Game 1 Monday.

Only Hall of Famers Michael Jordan (63) and Elgin Baylor (61) have scored more points in a single playoff game than Mitchell did.

Murray scored 36 points for Denver, including 10 in the extra period to help secure the win. As for Mitchell’s performance, when asked after the game Denver’s Nikola Jokić summed it up perfectly, “Not good for us.”

Fortunately, Jokić was plenty good for the Nuggets too, he finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in the win. Jokić did miss a running hook shot at the end of regulation that would have won it for Denver.

But it was Murray who won this one for Denver. With less than four minutes to play in the fourth he had just 16 points, but during the final 8:13 of the game he went off for 20 points, grabbed three rebounds and added two assists.

“No fans, it was a lot of trash talking, good trash talking. It was fun, and that’s how us basketball players like it when you can go at each other respectfully and see who’s got more bullets.”

Murray said after the Nuggets thrilling Game 1 overtime win.

Game 2 of the series is Wednesday at 2 p.m. (TNT, Altitude).

GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3

Rockies

Left Kyle Freeland continued his redemption tour with a solid six-inning outing in Houston, but the Rockies offense managed just two hits in a 2-1 loss to the Astros on Monday night.

Freeland now has quality starts in all five of his outings this season, tied for the second-longest streak to begin a season in franchise history. He’s got a long way to go to catch the record holder though, that would be Ubaldo Jiménez who had 14 in a row to start the 2010 season.

Colorado’s lone run came on a solo homer by Trevor Story in the third inning. It also was Colorado’s only hit until Charlie Blackmon led off the ninth with a single.

“It hurts when (Freeland) goes out there and does his job and the bullpen does, too, but we couldn’t do what we needed to do offensively. It’s on us.”

Story said of the offense’s inability to score more than one run Monday.

Story’s home run was the 130th of his career, tying him with Matt Holliday for 10th on the Rockies’ all-time home runs list.

  • Game 2 of the teams’ four-game series is this afternoon at 1:10 p.m. (AT&T Sports Net, 850 AM). Antonio Senzatela (3-0, 3.91 ERA) gets the start for Colorado against Houston’s Zack Greinke (1-0, 2.53 ERA).
  • The Rockies got some good news Monday as Carlos Estévez did not break his hand after being hit by a comebacker at the end of Sunday’s game. As of right now Estévez will avoid the injured list.
  • Colorado did make a move before the game though, placing backup catcher Elias Díaz on the restricted list for violating team rules and protocols. Manager Bud Black would not elaborate on what the specific violation was. Right-handed pitcher Ashton Goudeau was recalled to replace Díaz on the roster.

Broncos

Head coach Vic Fangio described his team’s first padded practice, which lasted just 90 minutes, as “just OK.”

Tight end Austin Fort, coming back from knee surgery, missed his third day of practice and appears to be headed towards injured reserve. The Broncos are scheduled to practice again today.

  • TheDNVR’s Ryan Koenigsberg wrote about why Monday’s practice was important for quarterback Drew Lock.
  • Lock meanwhile talked about being committed to being cautious when it comes to COVID-19.
  • TheAthletic looked at which non-playoff teams from last season have the best chance of making the postseason this year. They apparently don’t like the Broncos chances, as they ranked Denver No. 11 just ahead of the Chargers and behind the Falcons, Rams, Cardinals and Raiders among others. The Cowboys topped the list.

CU Buffs

CU men’s basketball player Evan Battey will represent Colorado on inaugural National Association of Basketball Coaches Player Development Coalition. Battey is one of 11 players named to the group which will meet four times a year and provide feedback about various issues facing basketball players.

Categories
Nuggets

Nuggets survive Mitchell’s 57 point outburst, beat Jazz in OT

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

GameResult
Game 1Denver 135, Utah 125, OTBox Score
Game 2Utah 124, Denver 105Box score
Game 3Utah 124, Denver 87Box score
Game 4Utah 129, Denver 127Box score
Game 5Denver 117, Utah 107Box score
Game 6Denver 1197, Utah 107Box score
Game 7Denver 80, Utah 78Box score
Nuggets win best-of-seven series tied 4-3