Murray, Leonard shine | Daily News

Murray, Leonard shine

LOS ANGELES: Jamal Murray scored 34 points, including six clutch free throws down the stretch to lift the Denver Nuggets to a gritty 116-112 NBA playoff win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

The 22-year-old Canadian Murray combined with Serbian Nikola Jokic to form a dynamic scoring duo as the Nuggets squared their second round Western Conference series at two games each.

It was a quick turnaround from the Trail Blazers’ 140-137 quadruple overtime victory in Friday’s game three. Game four didn’t last nearly as long as that three hour, 35 minute marathon, but it was another back-and-forth battle highlighted by Murray’s precision shooting and a fourth playoff triple-double from Jokic.

“The biggest part was mental,” said Murray on playing two playoff games just 40 hours apart. “We know what to do physically but that was a draining game and we had to come back with energy and face a great team.

“We were able to get what we wanted on offence and the stops on defense.” Jokic had 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his second straight triple-double and Murray, who led all scorers, was a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line for Denver, who handed Portland their first playoff loss at home this season.

Two free throws by Murray increased the Nuggets’ edge to 112-108 with 13 seconds on the clock. After Damian Lillard scored on a layup with 7.7 seconds remaining, Murray hit a pair of free throws to make it 114-110 with 6.7 seconds to play. AFP


 

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