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Jamal Murray makes history with 50-point outburst

Jamal Murray makes history with 50-point outburst
Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (Kitchener, Ont.) set a Nuggets playoff record with 50 points in a 129-127 playoff loss to the Utah Jazz. NBA Photo

He would have preferred the victory, but Jamal Murray’s 50-point outburst in a 129-127 loss to the Utah Jazz made history in more ways than one. 

Murray, a fourth-year guard from Kitchener, Ont., became the first Denver Nuggets player in franchise history to score 50 points in a playoff game. 

He also set a record for the highest point total by a Canadian in an NBA game, eclipsing the previous record of 48 points he shared with Hall of Famer and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash.

Murray added 11 rebounds and seven assists and hit nine three-pointers in the loss, but the effort was largely overshadowed by a 51-point performance by Utah’s Donovan Mitchell.

Denver is on the brink of elimination from the NBA playoffs, trailing Utah 3-1 in the best-of-seven first-round series. 

“They made shots, we made shots. We just didn’t get enough stops,” said Murray in a subdued post-game press conference. 

“It’s going to happen, but we’ve got to find a way to get three stops in a row. Whatever it is, we’ve got to find a way to … not give up threes. We’ve just got to be on the same page.”

Murray wasn’t asked about his individual performance, and didn’t comment on it. That was predictable, given third-seeded Nuggets have fallen significantly short of expectations in the NBA bubble. 

But it did mark a statistical high point. Murray’s previous career high made headlines across North America when he scored 48 points in a 115-107 regular-season win over the Boston Celtics on Nov. 6, 2018. 

Nash had 48 points in a 2005 playoff game, and Andrew Wiggins (Vaughan, Ont.) had 47 points on Nov. 13, 2016, when he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

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“Whatever we’ve got to do for Game 5, that’s what it is,” said Murray in the post-game presser. Just take it from there. No one wants to go home yet, and there’s a lot of fight in us left.”

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