NBA: Jamal Murray scores 50 points, Denver Nuggets force Game 7 with Utah Jazz; Los Angeles Clippers eliminate Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz will go at it one more time on Tuesday night, with the winner advancing to face the Los Angeles Clippers.
Lake Buena Vista, Florida: The Jamal Murray-Donovan Mitchell duel will be settled in the first Game 7 in the bubble.
Murray extended his torrid run with 50 more points, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 119-107 victory over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night.
Murray had his second 50-point game of the series to equal Mitchell, who finished with 44 in this one. No player has ever had more in an entire postseason.
They will go at it one more time Tuesday night, with the winner advancing to face the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers finished off the Dallas Mavericks in six games on the same court a few hours earlier.
Denver is trying to become the 12th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win a series and the first since 2016, when the Cleveland Cavaliers completed the only one of those comebacks that came in the NBA Finals.
The Nuggets won the opener, but the Jazz won the next three games and were in good shape to finish it in Game 5, holding a 15-point lead in the third quarter.
— NBA (@NBA) August 31, 2020
Murray led the charge back in that game, finishing with 42 points, and then was a sizzling 17 of 24 in Game 6, going 9 for 12 behind the 3-point arc.
Mitchell also hit nine 3-pointers and increased what was the NBA's top-scoring average in these playoffs at 37.6 points per game.
CLIPPERS 111. MAVERICKS 97
Kawhi Leonard had 33 points and 14 rebounds and Los Angeles eliminated Luka Doncic and Dallas from the playoffs in Game 6 of the first-round series.
Doncic capped a superb first postseason with 38 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, keeping it interesting into the fourth quarter even while playing without injured teammate Kristaps Porzingis.
But with Leonard reaching the 30-point mark for his career-best fifth straight playoff game and a strong defensive effort, the Clippers simply had too many answers.
33 PTS | 14 REB | 7 AST | 5 STL pic.twitter.com/LsVno6yhfA
— NBA (@NBA) August 30, 2020
The No. 2 seed in the Western Conference advanced to a second-round meeting with either Denver or Utah. The sixth-seeded Jazz were trying to close that series out in six games later Sunday.
Paul George and Ivica Zubac added 15 points apiece for the Clippers, who turned up their defense in this one after winning Game 5 with the best offensive performance in their postse.
Leonard also had seven assists and five steals. The Clippers said he was the first player in at least the last 20 postseasons with 30 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals in a game.
CELTICS 112, RAPTORS 94
Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart each scored 21 points, Kemba Walker added 18 points and 10 assists and Boston beat Toronto in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The Celtics improved to 4-1 against the Raptors this season — no other team has beaten the reigning NBA champions more than twice — and both of their meetings in the NBA's restart bubble at Walt Disney World have been one-sided. The Raptors are 11-0 at Disney against everybody else.
Jaylen Brown scored 17 points and Daniel Theis had 13 points and 15 rebounds for Boston, 5-0 in the postseason.
Kyle Lowry had 17 points for defending champion Toronto.
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The board is targeting a 22 December start to what would be a season of 70 to 72 games, with the NBA Finals ending in June again as has been in the case for many years, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Losses would have been much worse had the NBA not completed the season and staged the playoffs in a bubble at Orlando, saying $1.5 billion in revenue was recovered by restarting the season
NBA commissioner Adam Silver and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum will appear at ESPN to announce selections for the first and second rounds.