Jamal Murray Shocks Crowd with 40-Point Performance in Denver's Play-off Victory
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The Denver Nuggets took a commanding 2-0 lead over the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference play-off series, securing a 122-113 victory at home. The crowd was treated to a high-scoring showdown, with two of Denver's star players leading the charge.
Jamal Murray Leads the Way
Jamal Murray had a standout performance, scoring 40 points and igniting the crowd with his impressive play. "It's nice having a crowd. They got me going. That fires us up and gives us a lot of life even when we're not playing our best," said Murray.
Nuggets Coach Michael Malone was full of praise for his point guard, calling it a "passionate, heartfelt performance." He went on to acknowledge Murray's effort, giving him a big hug and urging the crowd to show their appreciation. "I knew they would anyway, our fans are great," Malone said. "But just to reward him and acknowledge the effort he just gave forth.
He left a piece of him out there tonight."
Nikola Jokic Adds to the Total
Nikola Jokic contributed 27 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds to the Nuggets' win. On the other hand, the Timberwolves were led by Anthony Edwards, who scored 41 points.
Jokic was quick to credit the Nuggets' aggressiveness, "They were the aggressors in that moment. I think in that situation we just need to relax and play the right way."
Milwaukee Bucks Tie the Series
In a separate match-up, the Milwaukee Bucks battled the Miami Heat, despite the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo, and tied the series 1-1 with a 138-122 victory.
Brook Lopez led the way with 25 points, while Jrue Holiday added 24. "Everyone's ready. Everyone has the right mentality coming into the game – the mentality it takes to be a Milwaukee Buck. There's no one above anyone else.
We're just out there trying to win," said Lopez. Jimmy Butler, who led the Heat with 25 points, was disappointed with the loss but is looking forward to Game 3 in Miami. "I would like to be up 2-0, but that's in the past now.
So we're taking it to the crib, and we've got to handle business on our home floor."
Memphis Grizzlies Overcome Absence to Beat Lakers
In the final match of the evening, the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 103-93 in Game 2 of their Western Conference play-off opener.
Xavier Tillman was the standout player, scoring 22 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Grizzlies Coach Taylor Jenkins was quick to credit his team's performance, "Obviously, this is a big win for us. You know, great performance from him (Tillman), other guys as well." LeBron James led the Lakers with 28 points and 12 rebounds, but was quick to acknowledge the threat posed by the Grizzlies, regardless of who is starting.
"They're just as dangerous a team when Tyus is starting. They don't miss a beat, and we knew that. No matter if Ja's in the game. If Ja's starting, dangerous. If Tyus is starting, dangerous. It didn't change our approach."