The Denver Nuggets are not ready to leave the bubble yet.
After falling behind 3-1, the Nuggets won their second straight game over the Jazz to force the first Game 7 of the 2020 NBA postseason.
Facing elimination for the first time, Denver won last Tuesday, 117-107, as a 2.5-point underdog. The teams had a four-day gap in between games 5 and 6 due to a temporary boycott to fight social injustice sparked by a police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, of a black man named James Blake. When basketball resumed, the Utah Jazz missed out on another opportunity to close the series as a 2.5 point favorite, and Denver took a 119-107 Game 6 victory on Sunday.
This series has involved an unexpected historical duel between Jamal Murray of Denver and Utah's Donovan Mitchell. They have both joined Michael Jordan, and Allen Iverson as the only four players in NBA history put up multiple games of 50+ points in a single playoff series.
Utah hopes third time is a charm to close out seriesThe Utah Jazz completed the regular season 44-28, earning the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. After failing to close the Nuggets out in the last two games, the Jazz's season has come down to a must-win situation on Tuesday.
As a team, the Jazz shot 45.3% from the field (35-75) and 50% from three-point range (18 of 36) in Sunday's loss, lead by Donovan Mitchell, who was stellar with 44 points.
Mitchell has been excellent in the series, leading all NBA playoff scorers with 38.7 points per game. Michael Conley Jr. finished with 21 points in Game 6 and is averaging 22.8 ppg in the series after missing the first two games for the birth of his child.
Jordan Clarkson, who is averaging 17.8 ppg, and Rudy Gobert, who has put in 16.5 ppg and a team-high 10.3 rebounds in this playoff series, both finished with 11 points on Sunday, with Gobert also grabbing 11 rebounds.
As a team, Utah is averaging 119.3 points per game for the series and shooting an NBA playoff-high 50.4% from the field and 44.9% on three-point shots.
Jamal Murray lands seat at the table with Jordan and IversonAfter finishing the regular season with a 46-27 record, the No. 3 seed Denver Nuggets opened up their first-round series in the Western Conference playoffs with a 135-125 overtime win. The Jazz then responded with three consecutive victories to take a 3-1 series lead before the Nuggets came away with a victory in Game 5 and 6.
Jamal Murray is currently on a ridiculous run. After opening up the series with a 36 point performance, the four year veteran from the University of Kentucky struggled in the next two games of the series scoring just 14 points and 12 points in back-to-back double-digit losses. Jamal Murray came back to drop 50 points in Game 4, 42 points in Game 5, and then 50 points again on Sunday. Only Jerry West back in 1965 and Michael Jordan in 1988 have ever scored more than Murray’s 142 total playoff points over the last three games, according to StatMuse.
As a team, the Nuggets shot 50% (18 for 36 three-point) range on Sunday with their season on the line. Nikola Jokic added 22 points and nine rebounds in Game 6, bringing his series averages to 25.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, while Jerami Grant added 18 points, including 4 of 7 from three-point range in the win.
Jamal Murray, who leads the Nuggets with 35.8 points and 6.7 assists per game in the postseason, is the first player with three straight playoff games with 40+ points since Allen Iverson in 2001.
Collectively in the playoffs, the Nuggets have averaged 115 points per game while shooting 48.1% from the field and 44.3% on three-point shots.
- Denver is 7-2 ATS in their last 8 games against Utah.
- Utah is 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 games following up a straight-up loss.
- Utah is 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a winning straight up record.