Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic dropped a major praise on teammate Jamal Murray following a Game 3 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, saying the 23-year-old guard is "built for the big shots." Murray, who has been absolutely brilliant throughout the playoffs, came up big in Game 3 against the Lakers as he scored a team-high 28 points to help the Nuggets win 114-106.
The Lakers reduced the deficit from 20 to four points with just over two minutes left to go in the game but then Murray hit a step-back three points, a rainbow two-pointer and found Paul Millsap for a dunk to help the Nuggets fend off the Lakers.
Murray also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out 12 assists. Meanwhile, Jokic dropped 22 points, collected 10 rebounds and had five assists. "He is built for the big shots," Jokic said of Murray after Game 3, per ESPN.
"I really, truly believe that he's a superstar."
Murray thought the Nuggets should have won Game 2
The Nuggets led 103-102 in Game 2 before Lakers big man Anthony Davis hit a three-pointer in the face of Jokic to give the Lakers a 105-103 win and a 2-0 lead in the series.
"We had Game 2," Murray said of Sunday's 105-103 loss. "We played great in Game 2. We just had a couple breakdowns that really hurt us. "We feel like we should be up 2-1 right now, to be honest. But we're going to move on to Game 4."
Nuggets coach Mike Malone is impressed by the improvement and jump Murray has made this season. "Now I know every night what I'm getting from Jamal," Malone said. "Last year we knew what we were getting from Nikola, but what kind of game would Jamal have.
That's no longer the case." Coach Malone shares the same opinion as Jokic as he also believes Murray is a superstar in the league. "We have two superstars in Nikola and Jamal." The Nuggets now trail 2-1 to the Lakers in their Western Conference Finals series.
Coach Malone insisted he knew his team would "show up" in Game 3. "I had no doubt that we were going to show up tonight," Malone said. "The reason I didn't have any doubt is because we won six straight elimination games.
Everybody always has us packing our bags and leaving, but we're not ready to go. For some reason, we love this bubble."