Over the past two NBA playoff seasons, Jamal Murray has been forced to watch from the sidelines as the Denver Nuggets went just 5-10 without their star guard.
On Tuesday night, in a thrilling game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Murray continued his rise to stardom by leading the Nuggets to a 122-113 victory and a 2-0 series lead with a spectacular 40-point performance.
Murray scored 14 points in the first quarter and finished the night 13-of-22 from the field, including an impressive 6-of-10 from beyond the arc, and hitting 8 of his 9 free throws in 39 minutes of action.
In the process, he also sliced through the Timberwolves’ defence with lethal dribble penetration, resulting in five assists to go along with his three rebounds and two steals.
When asked about his play and if it reminded him of his historic NBA bubble showings from the 2020 playoffs, Murray was quick to dismiss any such comparisons. He stated that he sees his bubble performances as the beginning and that he wants to keep getting better and improving his game.
“I don’t think bubble and Jamal. It’s the same person, I don’t know, I’m not split. I’m kind of exhausted of hearing that person, like that’s not me, that was just the beginning in my opinion. I have to keep my mentality that way, if I keep looking back you guys will think that was it, I’m not going to exceed that. So I always look at that (NBA bubble) as the beginning.”
“I’m 26, I have a lot of career left, hopefully, god willing, so I want to keep getting better, keep trending, that’s my mindset,” continued Murray.
Murray’s scoring outburst was his fifth 40+ point game in 35 career NBA playoff games.
At six-foot-five, Murray now has more 40-point playoff games than some of the biggest names in the game, including Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell, Damian Lillard, Carmelo Anthony, Oscar Robertson, Karl Malone, Alex English, Kyrie Irving, Paul Pierce, DeMar DeRozan, Reggie Miller, Tim Duncan, and even Magic Johnson.
The series now moves to the Target Center in Minnesota, where the Timberwolves will be looking to regroup and mount a comeback, while the Nuggets will be looking to keep their foot on the gas and take a commanding 3-0 series lead.