The legend of Jamal Murray continues to grow in the 2020 postseason with the Nuggets point guard coming up big once again down the stretch for his team in their 114-106 Game 3 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
With the Lakers obliterating the Nuggets' 20-point fourth-quarter lead, thanks to a 19-2 run, the game was firmly in the balance at 103-99 in Denver's favour with 3:33 remaining.
Then Jamal Murray happened.
The 23-year-old was a one-man wrecking crew down the stretch, scoring 10 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter.
TAKEAWAYS: Murray takes over late to seal Game 3 win
After a missed 3-pointer from Kyle Kuzma at one end, Murray launched one of his trademark 'Blue Arrows' from beyond the arc to put his team up seven with just over two minutes remaining.
Murray with a BIG shot down the stretch 🔥 pic.twitter.com/GlpYcukXpd- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) September 23, 2020
He followed that up with a sublime assist under pressure, finding Paul Millsap under the basket for a wide-open jam.
Then with 53.7 seconds on the clock, he put the win beyond doubt, draining another 3-pointer, this time from way beyond the arc to shut the door on any hopes of a Laker comeback.
Murray POURING IT ON 🤯 pic.twitter.com/lqHEAhVSfw- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) September 23, 2020
Murray shot an efficient 10-of-17 from the field and 4-of-8 from the 3-point line, adding eight rebounds and a playoff career-high 12 assists, with his composure against the Lakers' swarming zone defence earning plenty of praise from his teammates.
"I really believe in him, I think he can make the big shots," Nikola Jokic said post-game.
"He's built for the big shots. I really, truly believe that he's a superstar and he's a really big part of this team. He carried us today and a bunch of nights and I'm really glad that he's my teammate."
Murray's talent has always been evident, with the livewire guard capable of going for 40 any night, as we saw in the previous two rounds of the playoffs. However, the consistency of delivering night in and night out hasn't always been there....until now.
"I think what I've seen from Jamal this year, aside from the growth defensively, which has been tremendous, I'm so proud of him in that regard, but now I know every night what I'm getting from Jamal," Nuggets head coach Mike Malone said following the win.
"Last year it was, we knew what we were getting from Nikola. What kind of game would Jamal have? That's no longer the case. We have two superstars in Nikola and Jamal and a lot of other really good, young, talented players behind them."
With the Nuggets now trailing 2-1, they have a chance to level the series in Game 4, which tips off Friday, September 25th at 6:30 a.m. IST.
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