LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.: Jamal Murray scored 27 factors, Nikola Jokic had 26 factors and 18 rebounds and the Denver Nuggets by no means trailed on the way in which to beating the Los Angeles Clippers 110-101 in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal sequence Saturday night time.
Gary Harris and Paul Millsap every added 13 factors to assist Denver knot the sequence at a recreation apiece.
Paul George scored 22 factors for the Clippers, who acquired 15 from Ivica Zubac and endured a uncommon off night time offensively from Kawhi Leonard. The two-time NBA Finals MVP had 13 factors, 10 rebounds and eight assists, however shot solely four for 17.
Leonard had scored not less than 20 factors in 27 of his final 28 playoff video games and had not less than 29 in all seven playoff video games this season.
The Clippers trailed by 23 and acquired as shut as 5 within the fourth quarter, however no nearer. Murray and Harris made 3-pointers on consecutive possessions down the stretch to assist hold the Nuggets on high, and Patrick Beverley getting ejected with a pair of technicals with 1:04 left helped seal issues.
Murray made two free throws for the technicals, Grant added one other for a private that was known as and the lead was 11. George dribbled the ball off his knee on the following Clippers possession and the result was educational from there.
Denver set the tone from the outset, beginning off on a 14-2 run and finally going up 44-23 earlier than the primary quarter was even full. Jokic and Murray outscored the Clippers by themselves within the opening 12 minutes, 26-25.
It was 72-56 on the half, the Clippers third-largest intermission deficit of the season.
The Clippers simply couldnt string sufficient factors collectively at sufficient key occasions.
An enormous stretch got here within the third quarter when Leonard acquired fouled and went to the road with an opportunity to get the Clippers inside 11. He missed each free throws, Murray made a jumper on the following Denver possession, Millsap scored a few minute later and identical to that Denvers lead was as much as 83-66.
The Clippers’ greatest run finally got here within the fourth, with George happening a private 7-Zero spurt to get the Clippers inside 91-86 the smallest lead for the Nuggets because it was 7-2.
Denver instantly responded with the 10-Zero run, pushing the lead again out to 15 on a pair of free throws by Jerami Grant with 5:22 left.
Nuggets: Denver matched a season-best for any quarter with 44 factors within the first. It was the second-best scoring quarter in Nuggets NBA playoff historical past, after scoring 47 within the fourth towards the Los Angeles Lakers on May 14, 1985. … Denver outscored the Clippers 45-27 on 3-pointers.
Clippers: The 23-point deficit was the Clippers largest within the bubble (21 vs. Brooklyn on Aug. 9) and largest this season since dealing with a 28-point deficit towards Minnesota on Feb. 8. … The 44 first-quarter factors allowed have been the fourth-most by the Clippers in any interval this season. They allowed 45 3 times and received two of these video games.
History, in fact, says an 0-2 gap would have been very troublesome for Denver. The Nuggets have by no means rallied from 0-2 down in a best-of-seven of their NBA historical past; theyve received certainly one of 13 sequence within the NBA after dropping the primary two video games, and that was the best-of-five upset of top-seeded Seattle within the 1994 first spherical. Theyve received six of 19 earlier sequence that have been tied 1-1.
This is the ninth postseason sequence through which Doc Rivers has coached the Clippers. The Clippers have cut up the primary two video games in eight of these 9 matchups.
Game Three is Monday.
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