May 30, 2024

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NBA Playoffs: Jamal Murray hits another game-winner to lift the Nuggets ahead of the Lakers in Game 5, the series finale

NBA Playoffs: Jamal Murray hits another game-winner to lift the Nuggets ahead of the Lakers in Game 5, the series finale

Jamal Murray has done it again.

The Denver Nuggets star, coming off a huge win in Game 2 of the series, hit another game-winner on Monday night to officially conclude his opening-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Murray, who had the game tied in the final seconds, skillfully shot the ball over Austin Reeves from inside the free throw line to win the Lakers 108-106. His shot fell with just under four seconds left, which wasn't enough time for the Lakers' final shot attempt to fall.

This officially gave the Nuggets a 4-1 win over the Lakers, sending them to the Western Conference semifinals. They will now face the Minnesota Timberwolves, who swept the Phoenix Suns in their playoff series.

Murray, who was questionable Monday night with a calf strain, hit a buzzer-beater while falling out of bounds in Game 2, putting the Nuggets up 2-0.

“I'm speechless. It's a dream come true,” Murray told TNT. “All these fans on your side to get it done this way, I don't know. I don't know what to say. I'm just happy for us.”

The Lakers, who swept the Nuggets in the Western Conference final last season, have lost in the opening round of the playoffs twice in the past four seasons.

The Nuggets will now face the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference semifinals after defeating the Lakers 4-1.

Jamal Murray and the Nuggets will now face the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference semifinals after defeating the Lakers 4-1. (Aaron Ontiveros / The Denver Post)

After the Lakers held a slim lead at halftime, thanks to a huge 12-0 run in the second quarter to bounce back from an early gap, the Lakers nearly lost Davis right after the break.

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Davis took a hard shot to his left shoulder after colliding with Michael Porter Jr. in the opening minutes of the second half. The two hit it down the middle of the track, and Davis immediately landed hard on the field. He remained on the ground for several minutes as well, clearly in severe pain, before finally getting up and heading to the bench.

The shot itself wasn't great, but it clearly hit him in exactly the right place to leave an impact. He remained in the game after the timeout, but was stuck with his neck and his arm was seen dangling several times over the next few possessions. He had 16 points and nine rebounds at that point.

Despite the injury, the Lakers briefly raised the lead to nine points near midway through the half after a huge 3-pointer from James. Meanwhile, Davis has been largely useless on the field ever since. When he grabbed his 10th rebound of the night, he immediately grabbed his shoulder in pain.

This nine-point advantage went to the Lakers. The Nuggets then went on a 19-5 run to take the lead just a few minutes later, which included a huge 3-pointer from Porter despite his powerful shot that sent him down the court.

Davis returned to the locker room late in the half but returned to the field to start the fourth period. Although the Lakers took a brief lead midway through the final period, Murray finally took over. Murray knocked down four quick points and delivered a massive dunk over James and then immediately crumpled him under the rim.

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After a close battle, Murray hit a huge three-pointer to restore the Nuggets' two-point lead with one minute left in the game. This determined the game-winner, which officially gave the Nuggets the two-point win and the series victory.

James just completed a triple-double for the Lakers. He had 30 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in the loss while shooting 11 of 21 from the field. Reeves added 19 points and Davis finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds.

Murray led the Nuggets with 32 points and seven assists, and made 5 of 10 from behind the arc. Porter added 26 points, and Nikola Jokic added 25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists.

The Nuggets will now face the Timberwolves in the Western Conference semifinals starting Saturday in Denver. Minnesota swept the Phoenix Suns in its first series on Sunday night in its first series in two decades.