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Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Five - 20 May 2023
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety Five - 20 May 2023 - Page 5

‘Amazing’ Murray leads Nuggets rally in 108-103 win over Lakers

AFP – Jamal Murray scored 23 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter as a furious finale carried the Denver Nuggets to a 108-103 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday and a 2-0 lead in their NBA Western Conference final series.
Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic racked up another triple-double with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists for the Nuggets, but it was Murray who starred when it mattered most.
He made six of seven shots, including four of five from three-point range, playing all 12 minutes of a final period in which Jokic and fellow starters Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Aaron Gordon went scoreless.
Murray’s exploits were enough for a Nuggets team that had kept it close but couldn’t find a way past LeBron James and the Lakers through the first three periods at Denver’s Ball Arena.
James and Austin Reaves scored 22 points apiece for the Lakers and Japanese reserve forward Rui Hachimura delivered a brilliant 21 points off the bench, but the Lakers couldn’t stem the tide once Murray got going.
The Lakers pushed their lead to as many as 11 in the second quarter before coming up empty on 10 straight attempts – a dry spell ended by James’s driving finger-roll layup.
James, who also had nine rebounds and 10 assists, then found Hachimura for an alley-oop dunk that put the Lakers up 53-48 at halftime.
Anthony Davis made just four of 15 shots on the way to 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, who nevertheless pushed the lead back to 11 midway through the third as James came up with a steal and raced for a dunk.
But again the Nuggets clawed back, pulling level at 74-74 on Murray’s pull-up jumper with 2:10 left in the third, only for the Lakers to pull away again to lead by three, 79-76, going into the final period.
With 9:21 left to play a Murray three-pointer gave the Nuggets the lead for the first time since the first quarter – and they wouldn’t fall behind again.
“I think he was amazing,” Jokic said. “When it mattered the most, he made shots and he won us the game, basically.”


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