Make that another Game 7.
The Denver Nuggets completed a furious rally to earn a 111-98 win over the LA Clippers in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Denver trailed by as many as 19 points and outscored LA 64-35 in the final two frames to come away with the win.
Nikola Jokic led the way for the Nuggets with 34 points (on 13-for-22 shooting), 14 rebounds and seven assists while Jamal Murray added 21 points (on 9-for-13 shooting), five rebounds and five assists.
The Clippers were led by Paul George, who scored 33 points (on 9-for-21 shooting) and pulled down six rebounds while Kawhi Leonard finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
For more on a wild Game 6, we have you covered with some takeaways…
Never count the Denver Nuggets out
For the second straight game, the Nuggets were down big, but not out.
With 8:27 remaining in the third quarter, Kawhi Leonard sank two free throws to give the Clippers a 73-55 lead.
From that point on, things weren't the same.
The Nuggets responded with 17 unanswered points over the next five minutes to cut the deficit to one point, making it anyone's game with two minutes remaining in the third. Heading into the final frame, the Clippers clung to a two-point lead despite leading by as many as 19 points in the frame.
In the fourth, Denver built upon the momentum it had gained to break away from LA. The Nuggets reclaimed the lead with 10:40 remaining in the game and never looked back, outscoring the Clippers 34-19 in the fourth to earn a 13-point win.
Over the final 30:27 of the game, Denver outscored LA 56-25.
The second-half stats paint the picture well, highlighting the big play from the trio of Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray.
Speaking of Jokic…
The Joker takes over
Nikola Jokic was not ready to go home just yet.
The All-Star centre was incredible in this contest, doing everything he could to keep his team's season alive. After the Nuggets' impressive third quarter run that flipped this game on its head, Jokic made sure Denver's efforts wouldn't come up short.
The Joker - who already had 23 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in the game - stepped up with a team-high 11 points in the final frame. He'd go 3-for-3 from 3-point range, capped off with this classic one-legged fadeaway to seal LA's fate.
It's art. pic.twitter.com/ueM0IaWo1H- Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) September 13, 2020
He'd finish with a remarkable stat line of 34 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block shooting an efficient 13-for-22 (59.1%) from the field and 4-for-6 (66.7%) from beyond the arc.
A superstar performance from the Nuggets premier player to force a Game 7.
The Infamous 3-1 lead
In the history of the NBA, just 12 teams have come back from a 3-1 series deficit to win a series in seven games.
The 12th team? The 2019-20 Denver Nuggets.
Fitting within the narrative of being a team that should never be counted out, the Nuggets are fresh off of completing a comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the opening round to defeat the Utah Jazz in seven games.
MORE: The complete history of 3-1 comebacks in the NBA
The Nuggets look to become the first team in league history to come back from the deficit twice in the same postseason. By now, we should know not to doubt Denver's ability to do anything.
It's a completely different team but five years ago, the Clippers were on the wrong end of a 3-1 comeback in the Western Conference Semifinals. Notably, the franchise is still in search of the first conference finals appearance in its 50-year existence (LA, San Diego and Buffalo).
With the Game 6 loss, the Clippers are now 0-7 all-time with an opportunity to advance to the conference finals.
Game 7 is familiar territory for Denver
The Nuggets are no stranger to Game 7.
With the win, they become the first franchise in NBA history to have four consecutive series advance to a Game 7 dating back to last season, per ESPN Stats and Info.
They're 2-1 in those Game 7s, defeating the San Antonio Spurs in the first round last season before falling to the Portland Trail Blazers in the West Semifinals. This season, they defeated the Utah Jazz in Game 7 with another win or go home scenario coming up against the Clippers.
Denver is 3-4 all-time in Game 7s.
As for the Clippers, they're also 3-4 all-time in Game 7s.
Most recently, in 2017, they fell to the Jazz in Game 7 of the opening round. In the 2015 NBA Playoffs, they played in back-to-back series that went the distance, defeating the San Antonio Spurs in the first round before blowing a 3-1 lead to the Houston Rockets in the second round.
Will the Nuggets Game 7 experience prevail to help them advance to the Western Conference Finals? Or will the Clippers hold tough to advance to the first Western Conference Finals in franchise history?
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