Nuggets guard Jamal Murray goes up for a shot as Clippers forward Paul George defends during the second half on Sunday in Orlando, Fla.(Photo by Mark J. Terrill /Associated Press)
With most of the teams competing to reach the conference finals, Denver Nuggets showed the entire repertoire as they outplayed Los Angeles Clippers, 111-98 to force the Game 7 series of the Western Conference semifinals, Sunday, September 13 (Philippine time: Monday, September 14).
Nikola Jokic paced the winning team after a 34-point explosion, including 14 rebounds and seven assists in the dying minutes of the second half. He also hit back-to-back threes with nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to stretch the lead to seven points, limiting the Clippers to score until the end of the buzzer.
For the second-straight game, the Nuggets overcame another huge deficit to bounce back, forcing a decider.
In the third canto, Denver was down by as many as 19 points but went on a 17-0 blitz. The Nuggets maintained its formidable play but a turning point came after Paul George blocked a layup at the rim, landing on Murray and leaving the Denver guard writhing in pain on the ground. George hit a 3 on the other end that gave the Clippers their largest lead of 19.
Raining threes and hard-earned shots welcomed the fourth stanza but Nuggets made a crippling run to end the thrilling clash. Jamal Murray also stepped up his game with 21 points, five rebounds, five assists, and two steals. George spearheaded the Clippers with 33 points, six rebounds, three assists, five steals, and a huge block. His teammate Kawhi Leonard finished 25 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.
After the Nuggets lost Game 4 to fall into the 3-1 hole, they focus to win the next game. With toughness and resilience, even with the double-digit deficit they were in on Sunday, the Nuggets never lost belief and put themselves in the driver seat to give one last shot in Game 7.IMT