Nuggets’ Jamal Murray eliminates Lakers with late hoop

Posted by watchmen
May 1, 2024
Posted in SPORTS


Jamal Murray drains his second game-winner against the Lakers. (AP photo)
Jamal Murray drains his second game-winner against the Lakers. (AP photo)

Jamal Murray hit a 14-footer with four seconds left to send the host Denver Nuggets to the NBA Western Conference semifinals with a 108-106 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of a first-round playoff series yesterday (Philippine time).

The second-seeded Nuggets won the best-of-seven series, 4-1, and will face the third-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference semifinals beginning Saturday, May 4, in Denver.

As he did in Game 2, Murray came alive in the fourth quarter and beat Los Angeles with a clutch jumper. He finished with a game-high 32 points, 12 in the fourth quarter, despite playing on a strained left calf.

Nikola Jokic had 25 points, 20 rebounds, nine assists, and seven turnovers, Michael Porter, Jr. scored 26 points and Aaron Gordon grabbed 13 rebounds for the Nuggets.

LeBron James put up 30 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for the seventh-seeded Lakers. Anthony Davis had 17 points and 15 rebounds while playing through an injured left shoulder.

The game was tight throughout the fourth quarter. Jokic hit a tiebreaking runner with 2:34 left before Austin Reaves drained a three-pointer to give the Lakers a 102-101 lead with 2:12 to go. The teams traded baskets to keep Los Angeles in front, but Murray’s three-pointer put the Nuggets ahead, 106-104, with 1:07 remaining.

James made two free throws with 26.3 seconds left to tie the score before Murray dribbled down the clock and hit a fadeaway.

Los Angeles’ Taurean Prince missed a long three-point attempt for the win at the buzzer.

Davis went down under the Los Angeles basket clutching his left shoulder with 10:53 left in the third quarter. He stayed on his back for several minutes before being helped to the bench but remained in the game after a timeout. He attempted one field goal and had one point in the second half.

Reaves finished with 19 points, Rui Hachimura scored 15 and D’Angelo Russell added 14 for the Lakers.

The Nuggets led 87-81 early in the fourth but Los Angeles rallied to lead 89-87 after a layup from James. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who sprained his ankle in the first quarter, and Porter hit three-pointers, but Reaves answered each time with a basket, and the score was 95-95 with 4:31 left.

Murray dunked and hit a finger roll to put Denver ahead 99-97 before Russell made a driving layup to tie it again with 3:28 to go. (Field Level Media / Reuters)

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