Nuggets lead wire-to-wire, top Clippers to tie series at 1

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Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray (27) drives past Los Angeles Clippers' Paul George (13) during the second half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – It only took a few plays for Denver coach Michael Malone to like what he was seeing Saturday night. The Nuggets were physical on both ends, getting whatever they wanted offensively and setting a tone defensively.

“We were a noticeably different team," Malone said.

It led to a noticeably different result, too.

Blown out in Game 1, the Nuggets led wire-to-wire in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series with the Los Angeles Clippers. Jamal Murray scored 27 points, Nikola Jokic had 26 points and 18 rebounds and the Nuggets prevailed 110-101 to knot the series at a game apiece.

Gary Harris and Paul Millsap each added 13 points for Denver, which lost by 23 in the series opener.

“We were tired," Murray said about the Game 1 performance. “We came out sloppy, we came out exhausted, we didn't make shots and it showed."

That wasn't the case Saturday. Murray and Jokic were a combined 20 for 38 from the floor, 7 for 13 from 3-point range.

Paul George scored 22 points for the Clippers, who got 15 from Ivica Zubac and endured a rare off night offensively from Kawhi Leonard. The two-time NBA Finals MVP had 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, but shot only 4 for 17.