After falling to a 3-1 series deficit, the Denver Nuggets shocked the Los Angeles Clippers and the NBA world to win this Western Conference Semifinals series in seven games. Jamal Murray scored 40 points alongside Nikola Jokic’s triple-double while the Clippers blew another double-digit lead. How did one of the NBA title favorites crumble this 3-1 series lead before our eyes? Last Word on Hoops breaks it down with this series recap.
Series Recap: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Clippers in Control Early
Aside from a game one blow out, the first four games of this series played incredibly close. Regardless, the Clippers got out in front to a 3-1 lead, thanks to reigning finals Most Valuable Player Kawhi Leonard. Leonard dominated with 29 points in game one leading the Clippers to a 120-97 victory. Los Angeles’ defense was in plus form. Leonard had three steals, two blocks, and nine rebounds, while Denver’s starters scored just 57 points on 20-for-48 shooting.
The next three games were decided by 11 points or less, with Denver taking game two but Los Angeles jumping out to victories in games three and four.
Jokic and Murray combined for 53 points and 21 rebounds in game two before Leonard took back control of the series.
The other superstar in Los Angeles, Paul George, played his best game of the series in game three. George scored 32 points with four rebounds and four assists, while Leonard blocked a late dunk attempt by Murray to secure the Clippers’ 113-107 victory.
The Los Angeles Clippers held the Denver Nuggets to 39.7 percent shooting en route to a 96-85 game four victory and the 3-1 series lead. It appeared this series recap would be written much sooner.
Then, with the Western Conference Finals in plain sight, everything changed.
Denver Nuggets: Down, but Never Out
Ahead of game five, for the second time in as many series, the Nuggets looked a 3-1 deficit in the face. The most resilient team in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, Denver overcame a 3-1 deficit to the Utah Jazz in the first round. And they rewrote that script again against the Clippers.
Nuggets head coach Mike Malone can thank his stars, Jokic and Murray, for this miracle comeback.
Over the final three games of this series, all elimination games, Murray averaged 29 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game. His partner-in-crime, Jokic, averaged 24 points, 16.6 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game.
And the duo saved their best for last. Murray scored 40 points in game seven while Jokic put up an incredible stat line of 16 points, 22 rebounds, and 13 assists.
Adding to this story of resilience, the Nuggets rallied from double-digit deficits in each of these three elimination games. The comeback was historic according to Associated Press. Denver joined the 1985 Kansas City Royals and 2003 Minnesota Wild as the only three teams in the major American …read more