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.