Nuggets Outlast Jazz in Game 7 as Murray and Mitchell Fizzle

Nikola Jokic had 30 points and 14 rebounds in Denver's 80-78 victory

Nuggets Outlast Jazz in Game 7 as Murry and Mitchell Fizzle
Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz hugs Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets after Game 7.
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Hyped as a battle between record-setting playoff scorers Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell, Game 7 between the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz ended up being a war of attrition.

Neither Mitchell (22 points) nor Murray (17 points) was especially sharp in somewhat of a sloppy game, and it was actually Denver forward Nikola Jokic (30 points and 14 rebounds) who led the Nuggets to the win and notched the tiebreaking basket with 27 seconds left.

Following a timeout, the Jazz got the ball to Mitchell, but he had it stolen as he drove the lane and Denver went the other way on a fast break. Following a missed layup, Utah rebounded and pushed the ball down the floor to Mike Conley, but his 3-pointer spun out at the buzzer, giving Denver the 80-78 win.

The Nuggets, who became the 12th team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a series, will advance to take on the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals while the Jazz will be headed home from the NBA’s bubble.

“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 after the win. “So I’m glad that we won the game and I’m glad that we won the series.”

In the second game between the Celtics and Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Marcus Smart helped Boston overcome a fourth-quarter deficit by draining five 3-pointers in a span of 3:04, turning the last of those into a four-point play. “Once I saw the first one go in, I knew,” he said.

Smart’s 16-point surge helped erase what had been a 12-point deficit late in the third quarter, and the Celtics went on to top the Raptors 102-99 to take a 2-0 lead in their semifinal matchup.

OG Anunoby had 20 points for Toronto and Fred VanVleet chipped in 19, but Boston’s Jayson Tatum led everybody with 34 points.

The NBA playoffs continue today with Game 2 between the Bucks and Heat in the East and Game 7 between the Thunder and Rockets in the West.

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