A look at the Nuggets vs. Jazz series with an LA Clippers interest.
Utah took a commanding 3-1 lead in the series with a 129-127 victory yesterday in another hotly contested matchup between the teams.
Once again, the Jazz were lead by Donovan Mitchell, who is having his way with the Denver defense this series en route to historic numbers. Mitchell became just the fourth player in NBA history to record multiple 50-point games in the same playoff series. The other names on that list: Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, and Allen Iverson.
Pretty good company for the third-year star.
Once again Mitchell would battle it out with Nuggets’ guard Jamal Murray, who scored 50 points in the losing effort for Denver. The two had an epic game one battle that saw Mitchell score 57 in a losing effort while Murray lead the Nuggets to victory scoring 37 points.
Since that opening-game win, Murray hasn’t been able to get it going in the same way until his 50-point effort yesterday, and that has made all the difference. The Jazz breezed their way to victory in games two and three of the series without major scoring outputs from Murray.
The Nuggets’ defense remains their Achilles’ heel in the series, giving up major points to Utah throughout the four games and not being able to get stops when needed. While most of the focus remains on the rise of Donovan Mitchell, the Nuggets’ inability to stop him as added fuel to the fire of his ascension.
Mitchell is certainly talking the talk of a player with something to prove. After the game he said:
“I love hearing negative things about me. The knock on me has been inefficient, not a team player. I pride myself on being a team player. … People are going to say what they say. You can’t please everybody. For me, it’s how can I help my team win? Tonight it was scoring 50. Some nights it’s not.”
Mitchell seems willing to do whatever it takes to help lead the Jazz to victory. He’ll get the chance again tomorrow when Utah will try to close out the series with a win in game six.