Jamal Murray is on a mission to become Canada’s first NBA All-Star since Hall-of-Famer Steve Nash made the last of his eight appearances in 2012.
Playing in his final game in 2018 and less than a month removed from making Canadian basketball history by scoring 48 points against the Boston Celtics. —the most by a Canadian in a NBA regular season game—Murray was just shy of breaking his own record, dropping a cold-blooded 46 points.
Murray hit nine of 11 three-pointers in a tight 122-118 Denver Nuggets win over Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns
The third-year Canadian sharpshooter added eight assists and six rebounds, making 16 of 24 shots and five of six free throws.
Murray was hot from the opening whistle, draining the opening points of the game on a Nikola Jokić skip pass for a baseline triple.
He kept his foot on the gas, finishing the first quarter with 13 points on four-of-five shooting, going three-for-three from beyond the arc.
By halftime, Murray upped his total to 21 points, including five three-pointers.
In the third quarter Murray added another 10 points, including two more three-pointers, increasing his total to 31. He poured in another 15 points in the final frame to lift the Nuggets to another road win.
Murray, a Kitchener, Ont., native, is playing the best basketball of his young NBA career, averaging 18.6 points per game, 4.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds.
With the Nuggets leading the Western Conference with 24-11 record as we approach the mid-point of a highly competitive campaign, there isn’t much standing in the way of Murray joining Nash and Jamaal Magloire as the only Canadians to play in the NBA All-Star Game.