Oh what night it was for Canadian point guard Jamal Murray.
The Kitchener, Ontario native etched his name in NBA history by scoring the most points by a Canadian in a regular season game with a massive 48-point eruption in an impressive 115-107 win over the highly touted Boston Celtics.
Murray’s career-high effort tied hall-of-famer, two-time NBA MVP and Canadian basketball legend Steve Nash’s 48-point effort in game five of the 2005 Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. Murray was unconscious all-night — scoring 14 straight points as the Nuggets trailed 34-19 in the first-quarter. He added another 9 points in the second, 6 in the third and exploded for 19 in the fourth-quarter on 8-of-12 shooting alone. He finished the game 19-for-30 on field goals, connected on 3-of-11 triples and was perfect from the line, going 5-for-5 in 38 minutes of action.
In a somewhat controversial ending to the game, Murray attempted and missed two field goals in the last 17 seconds in a effort to reach the 50-point plateau. Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving didn’t appreciated Murray’s padding of the stats and tossed the historic game ball in the stands, much to the delight of a lucky Nuggets fan.
Rounding out the top scoring games by Canadians in the NBA is Andrew Wiggins 47-point game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Wiggins also holds the record most 40-point games by a Canadian with six, with all but one coming during his fourth season in 2016-17. By contrast Nash scored 40 or more points on three occasions in his illustrious 18-year career. This is Murray’s first 40-point game and judging by his early success it won’t be a surprise to anybody to see him reach the 40, 50-point plateau on a few more occasions.
The Denver Nuggets are off to their best start since 1976 when they opened up the season with a 7-1 record and the win stretches their winning streak to five straight games and share at top of the standings. A tie for the best record in the league at 9-1 with the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors. Through ten (10) games Murray is averaging 16 points per game, 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists, all career-highs for the third-year guard.
Top ?? Scoring Games in #NBAHistory:
Jamal Murray (48p/5r/4a, 19/30 FG, 5/11 3PM, 5/5 FT) vs. #Celtics-11/5 2018
Steve Nash (48p/5r/5a/3s/1b, 20/28 FG, 4/6 3PM, 44 MIN) vs. #Mavs – 05/15/05-GM 5 WCF
The only active players in the NBA to crack 45 points before their 22nd birthday:
Add Jamal Murray to the list.
Jamal Murray: “I didn’t have no conscious…I think that’s the reason I took that shot. Everybody knew I was trying to get 50. That’s the problem. I didn’t mean no disrespect. My emotions took over, like they did with the Lakers. I really just lose myself sometimes…” pic.twitter.com/105c7Cf5q9
The Warriors Came Out To Play This Series
Even without the fantasy Basketball of Kevin Durant in this series, the Golden State Warriors still brought out the brooms like ‘Fantasia’.
And swept out of Game 4 like Thanos click finger dust, the Portland Trailblazers may have only lost by a bucket (119-117)…and in overtime at that. But with all the Splash they had to contend with this series from brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, they were left dealing with more leaks and holes in all of their own ones like Mickey Mouse in said Disney epic.
This was meant to be the showdown between Dell Curry’s boys Steph and Seth which divided a household. And although the youngest gun stepped up to the plate, swung big in this carnival and knocked them down, big brother was always watching.
Steph Curry averaged over 36 points a game this series. Just read that again. 36 points. Right now we don’t need to talk about Kevin.
The Warriors are a dynasty for the ages even without their best player (although this writer thinks he wasn’t missing this entire series). The first team to make it to five straight finals since the Boston Celtics. The 1960’s Bill Russell Celtics. That’s King James crowning legendary. And Steph Curry with the shot and that facet of the game is just as iconic and dominant as a Bill block.
Give some credit to a blazing Portland side who never gave up despite the box score. They can hold their heads in the PDX. Even in their Moda Center home-stand City Of Roses end in RIP City. Their season eulogy should read as a celebration and commiseration, not a trolling condescension from critically entitled fans who have done nothing to determine the outcome of these games and could never make it this far in their wildest memes. They call themselves “influencers”? Well no one’s going to remember them in 50 years.
The NBA will remember one of their Top 100 greatest of all-time in a half century though. As after hitting the biggest buzzer beater in playoff history against Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, Damian Lillard played through the pain of separated ribs this series and still made the Basketball God’s look down from the hoop heavens with praise. Like New York singer St. Vincent tweeted, “Damian Lillard is my hero”. Even his backcourt brother of splash CJ McCollum in the only small man set up to rival Curry and Klay came out to play against the Warriors after midrange mining the Nuggets into submission in Denver just over a week ago.
But Curry’s red hot triple double, starter, mains and dessert dish of 37, 13 and 11, to go along with a playing not crying, Draymond Green’s day of 18, 14 and 11 assists also was just too much in the clutch. As Stephen and Dray became the first teammates in NBA history to have a triple double in the same playoff game. Forget how much this team can unbelievably keep winning, how does this ball manage to get shared this much?
Well that just may be the secret of success?
The real test is dubbed next however in the Warriors last season in Golden State before they move across that Golden bridge to the Silicon Valley of a digital age in San Francisco. They will play the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks (probably…Giannis…MVP. Sorry Toronto but come on!) and Raptors series. But by then they should have some guy called Kevin back.
I mean come on. This has been getting crazy. This is just out of hand like said ball in Splash City.
Now Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics’ record of eight straight finals and wins doesn’t look far out of reach for Steph Curry and the player and team with the biggest range in the association over the gate of the Pacific.
Welcome to the Toronto Raptors’ Jurassic Park
“In Jurassic Park, Raptor fans wait until after dark. Even if the cold might eat them!”
Fans find a way.
An ace serve or two away from being as legendary as Wimbledon’s ‘Murray Mound’ or ‘Henman Hill’ outside the Scotiabank Arena, the Toronto Raptors Maple Leaf Square’s “Jurassic Park” may just be the ticket for this sold out crowd.
Raptor Klaw, Kawhi Leonard ruled the earth last night. He and the T-Dot at the final tick beat the Sixers in The Six, as his shot bobbled like a beach ball on the surface of a swimming pool before making the biggest splash of these postseason playoffs. Taking longer to fall than Leonardo DiCaprio’s spinning top in ‘Inception’. But this was no dream.
And if you thought the Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto erupted last night, then outside in Maple Leaf Square it was like the volcanoes that killed the dinosaurs after that big ball dropped. An Armageddon even Bruce Willis couldn’t save like he wish he could his career.
Welcome to Jurassic World.
With all due respect to the Linsanity of Jeremy Lin, or pick your poison whoever is your flash card pick of the bench mob pack, but the Jurassic Park crowd fenced in outside of Scotia is the teams spiritual sixth man, spark plug. As electric as the paddock like perimeter fence surrounding them feels with this buzz over basketball (and national sport hockey come Leaf picking season), this crowd can’t be contained.
Forget rain or shine. You see the slickers. These faithful fans will pitch a spot waiting for game time like the ball to drop in Times Square for New Year in New York, sleeping bag lining up all day in their hordes huddled for warmth. These beautiful fans will brave the harshest, most frigid temperatures to be the coldest fans in the game in more ways than one. Part of the ‘We The North’ community in the 6 that the Basketball God’s look down on with pride, whilst other armchair fans watch this game for the throne from home. Or leave early like those suit and tie corporate seats trying to catch that last red eye Matt Bonner home.
Can you imagine of they called game early before Kawhi last night?
I could imagine Drake taking in the CN Tower looking up views of the Jurassic though, like it was all the basketball God’s plan.
Well those in the park for recreation stayed until the beautiful end to a game Butler almost delivered bitter. And you could could phantom cam see every emotion in slow motion last night as Leonard’s buzzer beating ball toyed with the rim like three dots on messenger, or Damien Lillard even further downtown in Oklahoma City.
This is the spirit of the stadium and the soul of the squad, expanding the capacity arena and the Canadian ballclubs worldwide fanbase watching on their own Jumbotrons.
And the Toronto Raptors are going to need all the north they can get if they’re going to stop the Bucks in Milwaukee.
But this club has the claws to do it. And if you don’t think they can win in Wisconsin on their own road to being the first franchise outside of the United States to be NBA finalists and who knows what next against the Warriors(?), then just watch this Canadian cornerstone from the Jurassic era.
Extinct in six? Nah! Get ready to hear the North roar.