Biofreeze Keys to the Game: Nuggets 115, Celtics 107
Nuggets guard Jamal Murray was raining shots all over the court Monday night against the Boston Celtics, especially when it mattered most.
The 21-year-old dropped 19 of his career-high 48 points during the fourth quarter alone, including a pair of triples midway through the frame that created all the separation Denver needed to come away with a win at Pepsi Center.
Denver was hanging onto a 96-94 lead with 7:11 left in the game, when Murray splashed his fourth 3-pointer of the game. The Celtics were called for a traveling violation on their next trip up the court, and Murray took advantage on Denver's ensuing possession by burying his fifth long-range dagger of the game.
After watching its two-point deficit shift to an eight-point disadvantage in a matter of 23 seconds, Boston called a timeout. However, Denver had already gained all the momentum it needed. The Nuggets didn't allow the C's to come within a single possession for the rest of the game, as they wound up walking away with a 115-107 victory.
Kyrie Irving played his best game of the season Monday night in Denver, where he poured in 31 points on a magnificent 13-of-17 shooting clip from the field. His tremendous effort, however, was overshadowed by the best game of Jamal Murray's career.
Murray erupted for 48 points against the C's, surpassing his previous career high by 10. He scored 19 of those points during the fourth quarter alone and finished the game with a 19-of-30 clip from the field, a 5-of-11 mark from 3-point range, and a perfect 5-for-5 effort from the free-throw line.
Murray also corralled five rebounds and dished out four assists during his game-high 38 minutes of action.
Irving was more efficient in his shooting, dished out more assists and finished with a better plus/minus rating, but his point guard counterpart had ice in his veins down the stretch, as Murray's multitude of fourth-quarter daggers are what helped Denver put the C's away.
Box Score Nuggets
- The starting point guards combined for 79 points (Jamal Murray – 48; Kyrie Irving – 31).
- Boston shot 50.6 percent from the field to Denver's 45.6 percent clip.
- Nikola Jokic finished two points and two assists shy of a triple-double.
- Jokic led the game in rebounds (10) and assists (eight).
- Denver made 28 trips to the free-throw line, while Boston only had 12 such attempts.
- Marcus Smart had a career-high four blocked shots.
- The Celtics outscored the Nuggets 50-42 in the paint.
- Kyrie Irving snagged a season-high three steals.
- Boston led by as many as 18 points during the first quarter.
- Murray finished with a minus-four rating despite his career scoring night.
Quote of the Night
We stopped moving the ball. We started settling.
Jaylen Brown on Boston's offense after the first quarter.