NBA

Jamal Murray's Nuggets get Game 7 as Clippers collapse again

By Sports Desk September 13, 2020

The Denver Nuggets produced another remarkable recovery to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 111-98 on Sunday and secure a Game 7 in the Western Conference semi-finals.

Denver, who came from 3-1 down to beat the Utah Jazz in seven games in the previous round, had overturned a 16-point deficit against the Clippers in Game 5 to keep their seemingly slim title hopes alive.

This time, the Clippers – looking to reach a mouth-watering match-up against rivals the Lakers – were up by as many as 19 points at one stage in the third.

But the Nuggets never gave up and their star duo of Nikola Jokic (34 points and 14 rebounds) and Jamal Murray (21 points) inspired a second straight stunning win.

The game looked to have moved away from Denver at the end of a damaging first half in which they had 10 turnovers, a 10-0 run led by Paul George (33 points) and Kawhi Leonard (25 points) putting the Clippers in control.

Things went from bad to worse for the Nuggets early in the third when Murray went down with a knock to his groin as George blocked, and Leonard and his team stretched into a game-high lead.

But Murray bravely battled on and a 17-0 run took his team to within one with three minutes left in the third.

The momentum then swung entirely in the final period, with the Clippers shellshocked as Patrick Beverley fouled out and Denver seized the initiative, keeping the Lakers waiting with a flurry of late scores.

Game 7 is on Tuesday.

Related items

  • Murray and Nuggets fend off Lakers comeback to win Game 3 Murray and Nuggets fend off Lakers comeback to win Game 3

    The Denver Nuggets outlasted an epic Los Angeles Lakers rally to claim Game 3 114-106 in the Western Conference finals.

    After a heartbreaking buzzer-beating loss in Game 2, the Nuggets produced a trademark performance of resilience behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic double-doubles to reduce the Lakers' series lead to 2-1 in the NBA playoffs.

    The Nuggets looked on track to cruise to victory in the third showdown, having taken a 93-75 lead through three quarters at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

    But LeBron James – who tallied a triple-double – and the top-seeded Lakers reeled off a stunning 19-2 run and forced six successive turnovers to close within 101-98 with less than four minutes remaining on Tuesday.

    Veteran guard Rajon Rondo was instrumental in the Lakers' fightback courtesy of three steals against the stuttering Nuggets.

    But the Nuggets – who became the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a series twice in the same postseason en route to the Conference finals – fended off the Lakers with a run of their own as Murray finished with 28 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds.

    All-Star big man Jokic posted 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and Jerami Grant had a playoff career-high 26 points to help the Nuggets avoid a 3-0 hole.

    James led the Lakers with his 26th career triple-double, which included 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, while Anthony Davis – the last-gasp hero in Game 2 – had 27 points.

     

    Celtics face Heat

    The Boston Celtics will look to level their series against the Miami Heat when they two teams meet in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday.

  • NBA commissioner Silver: Best guess next season won't start until January NBA commissioner Silver: Best guess next season won't start until January

    NBA commissioner Adam Silver does not expect the 2020-21 season to start until next year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The NBA is deep into the Conference finals behind closed doors inside the Orlando bubble at Walt Disney World Resort after the 2019-20 campaign resumed in July, having been suspended in March due to COVID-19.

    A December tip-off for the new season was tentatively flagged previously but Silver said the league is set to be pushed back to January.

    "My best guess is even though it'll be the 2020-21 season, that the season won't start until 2021," Silver told CNN.

    "We said the earliest we would start is Christmas of this year. But the more I'm learning and listening to Dr. Anthony Fauci [head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases] this morning, I continue to believe we're going to be better off going into January. The goal for us next season is to play a standard season.

    "And further, the goal would be to play games in home arenas in front of fans, but there's still a lot that we need to learn."

    A January start date could clash with the rescheduled Olympic Games in Japan, where the United States will defend their gold medal.

    The Tokyo Games are due to be held between July 23 and August 8 and Silver added: "There are a lot of great U.S. players, and we may be up against a scenario where the top 15 NBA players aren't competing in the Olympics, but other great American players are competing.

    "And, obviously, there are many NBA players who participate in the Olympics for other countries. That's something we're going to have to work through."

    "These are highly unique and unusual circumstances," Silver said. "And I think just as it is for the Olympic movement, it is for us as well. And we're just going to have to sort of find a way to meld and mesh those two competing considerations."

  • Chicago Bulls appoint former Thunder coach Billy Donovan Chicago Bulls appoint former Thunder coach Billy Donovan

    The Chicago Bulls have appointed Billy Donovan as head coach, the NBA franchise announced on Tuesday.

    Terms of the contract were not disclosed but Donovan, 55, arrives after leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder following five seasons in charge at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

    The Bulls had been looking for a new coach since dismissing Jim Boylen in August after finishing the coronavirus-hit 2019-20 season with a 22-43 record.

    "I want to thank Jerry, Michael, Arturas and Marc for the opportunity to coach the Chicago Bulls," Donovan said.

    "I also want to thank them for the time and effort they put into this hiring process. I'm excited to partner with Arturas [Karnisovas] as we work together on behalf of this historic franchise."

    Donovan led the Thunder to the playoffs in each of his campaigns at the helm, but they bowed out in the first round for the fourth straight year in 2019-20.

    After guiding the team to a 243-157 record, Donovan and the Thunder did not renew his contract.

    The Bulls have not reached the playoffs since losing to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference first round in 2016-17.

    "We are very pleased to welcome Billy and his family to the Chicago Bulls. The success that he has sustained over the course of his coaching career puts him on a different level," said Bulls executive vice-president – basketball operations Karnisovas.

    "We feel his ability to help his players reach their potential, both individually and collectively, will mesh well with our roster. Whether as a player or as a coach, he has won everywhere his career has taken him, and we hope that will continue here in Chicago."

     

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.