Donovan Mitchell Scores 51 to Outduel Jamal Murray as Jazz Defeat Nuggets

Kevin C. Cox/Associated PressThe Utah Jazz took a commanding 3-1 lead over the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2020 NBA playoffs with a 129-127 win on Sunday night.Jamal Murray (50 points) notched a career high in scoring yet still couldn’t outduel Donovan Mitchell (51 points). Mitchell not only dropped 50 points for the second time but also delivered the proverbial dagger on a three-pointer with 54.7 seconds remaining that gave the Jazz a four-point lead.NBA on TNT @NBAonTNTSpida Mitchell is cold-blooded 🥶 https://t.co/UM5t3sbMZGStatMuse @statmusePlayers with multiple 50-point games in a single playoff run:

– Michael Jordan (2x)
– Wilt Chamberlain
– Allen Iverson
– Donovan Mitchell https://t.co/jpheuEbPubNBA on TNT @NBAonTNT“50 is 50, but we’re looking to close the series out.”

@spidadmitchell talks about his 51-PT performance with @JaredSGreenberg after Utah’s Game 4 victory. https://t.co/ZY8yPrZsMGAccording to Elias Sports Bureau (h/t ESPN Stats & Info), this was the first time in NBA postseason history that opposing players scored at least 45 points.Denver held on for a hard-fought overtime win in Game 1. That effort was sorely lacking in Games 2 and 3, which were decided by a combined margin of 56 points. The Nuggets had a better showing in Game 4, though they still offered little resistance to a Jazz offense that is firing on all cylinders.According to NBA.com, Utah had a 61.2 net rating in the third quarter through the first three games. The trend continued in Game 4 as the Jazz opened up some breathing room after halftime. An eight-point lead heading into the fourth quarter may not sound like much, but it was a healthy cushion when Denver was unable to string together defensive stops. Utah shot 57.5 percent from the field and went 14-of-29 from beyond the arc.Notable PerformersJamal Murray, PG, Nuggets: 18-31 FG, 9-15 3P, 50 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, one blockNikola Jokic, C, Nuggets: 12-24 FG, 29 points, sevem rebounds, six assistsDonovan Mitchell, SG, Jazz: 15-27 FG, 4-7 3P, 51 points, four rebounds, seven assistsJordan Clarkson, PG, Jazz: 9-13 FG, 4-7 3P, 24 points, three reboundsMike Conley, PG, Jazz: 8-13 FG, 4-8 3P, 26 points, one rebound, four assists, two stealsMitchell Feasts on Porous Nuggets DefenseTo understand why the Nuggets are in a 3-1 hole, look no further than Mitchell’s output. The 2020 All-Star is torching Denver, whether he’s creating his own shot or finding his teammates for scoring opportunities.The Jazz have had a lot of success with Mitchell running the pick-and-roll, and that continued Sunday. On other occasions, their offense boiled down to letting their best player cook.Bleacher Report @BleacherReportSpida picking up where he left off 🕷

27 PTS | 3-3 3PM https://t.co/8nOVyXCuQTChristian Clark @cclark3000Mitchell dribbling past three Nuggets a pretty good summary of this series so far.utahjazz @utahjazz4️⃣5️⃣➡️2️⃣7️⃣

#TakeNote https://t.co/pkDaqtRxgnUtah wasn’t a one-man show, though, as Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson hit four three-pointers apiece.The last two games are exactly why the Jazz acquired Conley from the Memphis Grizzlies. They couldn’t keep leaning on Mitchell as they had in the playoffs over the past two years, thus requiring the addition of a proven scorer and playmaker.Conley’s adjustment wasn’t seamless in Salt Lake City, but the 32-year-old is making his presence felt.utahjazz @utahjazzMike counter: 🏔🏔🏔

#TakeNote https://t.co/6eHess86EYutahjazz @utahjazz(•_•)

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