by Elmer Mejia | Game Five between the Jazz and Nuggets took place today. The Jazz were looking to end the series with a win to move on to the Western Conference Semifinals Series, but the Nuggets came fighting and ultimately took the game.
The Jazz started off hot scoring their first six shots of the game. Mitchell made two quick three-pointers and it looked promising for the Jazz. That didn’t last long, though – Jokic was red hot tonight. He scored 15 of the Nuggets’ first 19 points. He was on another level as he went perfect 8/8 and was 5/5 behind the three-point line. He had 21 points to lead all scorers in the first quarter. Mike Conley was benched due to grabbing two quick fouls. O’Neale and Ingles led the Jazz leading scorers each with 8 points. The Nuggets were ahead at the end of the first quarter 33-32.
In the second quarter both teams fought hard. The Jazz had help from Clarkson who contributed 14 points from the bench with 4:41 left in the quarter. The Jazz were lighting it from beyond the three point line and were making quality shots. Gobert was quiet in the quarter and Conley came back from the bench. Ingles was awake this game having 11 points. Jokic only scored two points in the quarter and the Jazz took the first half 63-54.
Both teams maintained their level of play as the third quarter started. Mitchell and Clarkson especially looked great. Murray was hot in this quarter for the Nuggets and had 17 points in this quarter. He looked unstoppable and couldn’t be contained by the Jazz. The Jazz were being hurt by the Nuggets pick-and-rolls as well. The Nuggets went on an 8-0 run and won this quarter 28-23. The Nuggets were only up by four at the end of the quarter 86-82.
The final quarter started with the Nuggets turning around the score and were ahead for the first time since the second quarter. The Nuggets defense was showing up and clearly didn’t want to be eliminated. Murray continued his scoring streak; this game looked like another individual battle between Murray and Mitchell. The Jazz lead was turned over and were now trailing 92-90 with eight minutes left. It looked like another close finish as both teams were now going back and forth. It turned into a battle and the final minutes were impressive. Utah couldn’t stop Murray and he assisted Jokic for a 3 point dagger with 22 seconds left. The Jazz went to lose this one 117-107.
Murray and Jokic were too much to handle for the Jazz. Both combined for 73 points and didn’t rest at all in the second half. Mitchell had 30 points, but it wasn’t enough. Murray was the leading scorer with 42 followed by Jokic with 31.
The Nuggets forced a game six that will be played on Thursday at 2 PM MST on ESPN.
Featured image via CBS Sports.