Boasting the services of a player who elevates his game in the playoffs is a must for any aspiring championship contender. And the Denver Nuggets certainly do, as Jamal Murray, yet again, showed that he saves his best basketball for when it matters most. During the Nuggets’ 122-113 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 2 of their first-round matchup, Murray scored 40 points to lead the way in a performance reminiscent of the way he played in the 2020 NBA bubble.
In the process of doing so, Murray etched his name even deeper into Nuggets playoff lore. Following his latest 40-burger, Murray has now scored 40+ points in the playoffs five times. As a result, Murray has surpassed Alex English for most 40-point playoff games in Nuggets franchise history, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
To put things in even greater perspective, the Nuggets guard has just four 40-point games in the regular season. Murray has played in 410 regular season games, compared to just 35 in the postseason, so to accomplish this is simply incredible.
Of course, four of those 40+ point nights came during the 2020 NBA playoffs, where Jamal Murray took advantage of the weird circumstances of the bubble. Murray had three such games during the Nuggets’ first-round series matchup against the Utah Jazz alone, while he added another one during the Nuggets’ third straight comeback victory against the Clippers in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Nikola Jokic definitely still holds the keys as to whether the Nuggets can end up winning it all. But with Murray back to his best, Jokic definitely won’t have to do it on his own.
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