Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray had nothing but respect for each other after the Nuggets-Jazz series finale.
In one of the most improbable, pulse-pounding 20-second sequences of first-round playoff basketball you’ll ever see, Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets pulled out an 80-78 win over Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz, completing a comeback after being down three games to one in this series.
Mike Conley’s three narrowly missing ended Mitchell’s bubble playoff run despite the otherworldy numbers both he and Murray were putting up in this series. While Mitchell was understandably crushed by that last-second shot rimming out, Murray quickly came over to console him after an outstanding individual effort.
Even though the Jazz lost, Donovan Mitchell was historically good in this series
The Nuggets averaged 110 points per game in this series, and either Murray and Nikola Jokic scored just about half of those points. Murray’s 31.6 points on 55 percent shooting as almost as impressive as Mitchell’s herculean effort, but it was Jokic putting up 26.3 points and 8.1 rebounds inside that helped swing the momentum in Denver’s favor.
Mitchell’s 36.3 points per game over the last seven games, making that total the third-highest in NBA history in a losing playoff series. Only Hall of Famers Jerry West and Bob McAdoo have topped Mitchell’s total in a series. While certainly a dubious distinction, Mitchell should be absolved of any blame for the Jazz blowing this lead, as he couldn’t have performed better for Quin Snyder.
Mitchell did literally everything in his power to keep the Jazz alive after relinquishing the 3-1 advantage, but some cruel twists of fate and unlucky bounces of a ball sent the Jazz home early. If anything, this series confirmed that Mitchell is one of the game’s premier scorers when the chips are down.