May 21, 2024

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Jamal Murray’s buzzer-beater lifts Nuggets past LeBron James, Lakers 

4 min read
GAME-WINNER. Jamal Murray shoots the game-winning basket for the Denver Nuggets to defeat the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers at the Ball Arena in Denver. DENVER NUGGETS PHOTO

Jamal Murray’s game-winning shot rocked Ball Arena and deflated the visiting Los Angeles Lakers. The atmosphere was electric as the Nuggets completed a stunning 20-point comeback to take a commanding 2-0 series lead via a 101-99 victory on Monday night (Tuesday, April 23, in the Philippines).

Murray’s heroics began with an arduous struggle. He missed his first 13 shots and seemed plagued by doubt as the Lakers built a commanding lead behind the firepower of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. 

The Lakers’ dominance appeared certain until Murray ignited a furious rally.

With the Nuggets facing a double-digit deficit in the third quarter, Murray’s resolve was tested. But his teammates never lost faith, encouraging him to stay aggressive. As the deficit dwindled, Murray found his rhythm, converting six of his last eight shots in the fourth quarter, including the most crucial shot of all.

The game reached its crescendo in the final minute, tied at 99-99. Nuggets coach Michael Malone opted against a timeout after a missed three-pointer by LeBron James, a decision that allowed Murray to create magic in real time.

Receiving the ball with seconds ticking down, Murray feinted a long-range attempt, drawing Anthony Davis out of position. Then, with expert footwork and nerves of steel, he elevated for a step-back 15-footer that found nothing but net as time expired. 

The crowd erupted, and Murray was mobbed by jubilant teammates as the Lakers stared in disbelief.

Murray described how he realized the shot went in by the roar of the crowd during the celebratory chaos. The unwavering support from his teammates had ultimately paid off, leading the Nuggets to a thrilling victory.

Nikolia Jokic leads the Denver Nuggets with a
triple-double performance. DENVER NUGGETS PHOTO

Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets’ cornerstone, also played a pivotal role with a triple-double performance, showcasing his versatile skill set. Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon provided critical contributions, but it was Murray’s clutch gene that ultimately decided the game.

For the Lakers, despite the brilliance of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, this loss stung. James acknowledged the Lakers’ missed opportunities, conceding that a 20-point lead is never safe in the NBA, especially against a determined opponent like the Nuggets.

As the series shifts to Los Angeles, the Lakers must regroup and recalibrate their game plan to counter the Nuggets’ resurgent spirit. The Nuggets, riding high on momentum and belief, are poised to continue their underdog journey against the defending champions.

As Murray basked in the glow of victory, he knew that his shot would be remembered for years to come. It was more than just a game-winner; it was a symbol of perseverance, determination, and the unbreakable spirit of the Denver Nuggets. And for Jamal Murray, it was the biggest basket of his career, one that he would never forget.

For Denver fans, it’s a moment to savor and a victory that symbolizes the resilience of a team refusing to back down.

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