Murray scores historic 50 as Nuggets down crumbling Cavs
Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray (27) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers' Cedi Osman (16) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)CLEVELAND – Not himself of late, Jamal Murray got a lecture from Nuggets coach Michael Malone about being more aggressive and not passing up open shots. Following the game, Murray was unaware that he had done something unique. “With the exception of Murray, we took some steps in the right direction,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. They made their first 12 shots, opened a 22-point lead in the second half and then let Murray close out the Cavs.
Jokic powers Nuggets by Lakers, Davis re-aggravates Achilles
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)DENVER – The sight of Anthony Davis limping off the court was hard for the Los Angeles Lakers to shake. Nikola Jokic recorded his sixth triple-double of the season and the Denver Nuggets beat the Lakers 122-105 on Sunday night in a game in which Davis re-aggravated his sore right Achilles. Now, the only thought for the Lakers is the result of Davis' MRI on Monday for what the team called a strain. For his big game, Jokic credited a new mindset. Entering the game, Davis was questionable with what was described as right Achilles tendinosis.
Middleton, Antetokounmpo lead Bucks past Nuggets 125-112
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, right, moves to the rim as Denver Nuggets forward JaMychal Green defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, in Denver. Middleton had 29 points and a career-high 12 assists, Antetokounmpo scored 30 points and the Milwaukee Bucks won their fifth straight game by beating the Denver Nuggets 125-112 on Monday night. “We still find ourselves trying to figure out how to be a team that plays a lot better in the second half,” Malone said. “We’ve lost three in a row because we haven’t defended anybody.”TIP-INSBucks: The Bucks outrebounded the Nuggets 50-38. “Hope that he's going to be well.”MAIN ATTRACTIONAsked about the marquee matchup between Jokic and Antetokounmpo, Malone feigned hurt feelings.
A very rare NBA day: Curry, Jokic score 50 in losses
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry instructs teammates during an offensive possession in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)Stephen Curry and Nikola Jokic were part of history Saturday. The NBA had two 50-point scorers in losing efforts on the same day for only the third time. Jokic scored 50 points in Denver’s loss to Sacramento, and Curry scored 57 points as Golden State fell in Dallas. There have been five 50-point efforts in the NBA so far this season, including Curry’s season-high, 62-point in the win over Portland.
Durant scores 34, Nets charge back from 18 down, top Nuggets
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)NEW YORK – Kevin Durant had 34 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds, Bruce Brown made a huge contribution while starting for the absent Kyrie Irving, and the Brooklyn Nets rallied from 18 down to beat the Denver Nuggets 122-116 on Tuesday night. Durant followed with Brooklyn's next six points, including a 3-pointer that essentially put it away at 120-113 with 27 seconds to play. They want to come out and compete, and everybody came with it tonight, especially in the second half,” Durant said. Nets: Before the game, coach Steve Nash wasn't sure if Durant would play Wednesday at New York. “We have to judge these things day to day and moment to moment.” Durant said afterward he planned to play.
Chris Paul helps Suns hold off Nuggets, improve to 5-1
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, right, looks for a shot over Denver Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in Denver. Moments like this are precisely why the Suns acquired Paul in a deal with Oklahoma City. “Him being able to knock down shots, and the ability and will to take those shots, is huge for us,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. But on the advice of Paul, Williams decided to challenge the play. The Denver big man is posting big numbers but his production isn’t translating into wins as the Nuggets fell to 1-4.
NBA coaches attire: Masks are in, jackets are optional
FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2020, file photo, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich reacts during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. For NBA coaches, masks are required this season. Suit jackets or sport coats will not be required but coaches wont be able to wear the short-sleeved shirts that most donned for games in the bubble, either. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool, File)MIAMI – For NBA coaches, masks are required this season. “That’s why I continued to wear masks during the playoffs, during the finals, even when we were not required to wear them during our media sessions,” Spoelstra told The Associated Press. The league, with limited exceptions, also will require coaches to wear masks “at all times” inside their team facility, while traveling and during practices.
Another NBA Finals await James if Lakers can finish Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) celebrates with Los Angeles Lakers' Rajon Rondo (9) and Los Angeles Lakers' Alex Caruso (4) during the final moments of their 114-108 win over the Denver Nuggets in an NBA conference final playoff basketball game Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Another NBA Finals await James if Lakers can finish Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) celebrates with Los Angeles Lakers' Rajon Rondo (9) and Los Angeles Lakers' Alex Caruso (4) during the final moments of their 114-108 win over the Denver Nuggets in an NBA conference final playoff basketball game Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LeBron James can reach a 10th NBA Finals, done by only three greats of the game. The final step for the Los Angeles Lakers shapes up as the toughest. “You can never be comfortable around this team,” Davis said. One more win, and James ties NBA career scoring leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for third on the career list with 10 NBA Finals appearances. James and Davis have been the unquestioned catalysts of this run, and they're good strong support from some playoff-tested veterans.
For NBA players, Taylor grand jury decision 'not enough'
And James was letting his team know that NBA players, who have spent months seeking justice for Breonna Taylor, did not get what they wanted. State Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the officers’ shots that killed Taylor were fired in self-defense. Many NBA players have met, virtually, with members of her family to offer support. ... What currently is happening isn’t good enough.”National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts went a step further. We’re going to continue fighting, we’re going to continue to push, we’re going to continue to use our voices.”___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Lakers try to regain control vs confident Nuggets in Game 4
Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray (27) looks on as Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis (3) grabs his wrist after falling to the floor during play in the second half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball Western Conference final Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Lakers try to regain control vs confident Nuggets in Game 4
If the Los Angeles Lakers don't start playing better, the Nuggets might be right. Outplayed for much of the last 1 1/2 games, the top-seeded Lakers look to regain control of the series when the teams play Game 4 on Thursday night. The Lakers were careless with the ball and not disciplined enough on defense in Game 2, when they needed Anthony Davis' 3-pointer as time expired to avoid a loss. We have control of the series,” Davis said. The Nuggets then scored 25 points in Game 3 off the Lakers' turnovers — with James committing a game-high six of them in his 26th playoff triple-double.
Murray, Nuggets hang on in Game 3, cut Lakers' lead to 2-1
Jamal Murray had 28 points, 12 assists and two late 3-pointers to halt a Lakers charge, helping the Nuggets to a 114-106 victory Tuesday night that cut Los Angeles' lead to 2-1 in the Western Conference finals. It would grow to 18 and could have been worse if not for Davis, who scored nine straight Lakers points. The Lakers got the first five points of the third to cut the lead in half, but Denver regained control and led 93-75 after three. Nuggets: Denver's last halftime lead had been a 59-57 edge over the Clippers in Game 3 of the West semifinals. THE AIR UP THEREThe Lakers came into the game 4-0 in the playoffs as the designated road team.
Lakers roll past Nuggets 126-114 in West finals opener
The top-seeded Lakers opened a double-digit lead in the first half that they easily extended in the third quarter. The Lakers quickly knocked off any rust for another long layoff in the bubble against a Denver team that's had things much tougher. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray each scored 21 points for the Nuggets, playing in the conference finals for the first time since the Lakers beat them in 2009. The Nuggets fell to 7-22 against the Lakers in the postseason. ... Denver's 16 fouls in the second quarter tied the most by any team in a quarter this season.
Nuggets crash LA party, will face Lakers in West finals
Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009. They will face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers starting Friday in Game 1. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against Utah before bouncing back with three straight victories. “We love it.”The last time the Nuggets were in the conference finals they faced the Lakers as well, losing in six games. The Lakers were led by the late Kobe Bryant and would go on to win the NBA title over Orlando.
Murray, Jokic help Denver stun Clippers 104-89 in Game 7
Murray scored 40 points, Jokic had a triple-double by the third quarter and Denver again overcame a double-digit deficit to shock the Los Angeles Clippers 104-89 in Game 7 on Tuesday night. Denver became the first team in NBA history to rally from a 3-1 series deficit twice in the same postseason. The 7-foot Jokic had a monster game with 16 points, 13 assists and 22 rebounds, which were the most by a Nuggets player in an NBA playoff game. Murray helped the Nuggets pour it on down the stretch to give coach Michael Malone a 49th birthday present. The team also rallied back from double-digit margins in their last two games as well to stun the Clippers.
Clippers set to try, again, to reach the conference finals
“Just winning a game in the NBA is hard,” the Los Angeles Clippers’ coach said. For the Clippers, winning a game at this point in the season has been impossible — forever. Game 6 is Sunday, when the Clippers will once again try to get to a level of the playoffs that they’ve never reached before. — KEEP AN EYE ON: How the Clippers finish. There will be an absolute urgency from the Clippers to finish the job on Sunday.
Millsap helps Nuggets rally, stun Clippers 111-105 in Game 5
Denver — down 16 in the first half — trailed 61-46 with 9:42 remaining in the third before rallying behind the 35-year-old Millsap. The Nuggets took their first lead on Nikola Jokic's 3-pointer with 7:06 left and extended it to eight. After the Clippers pulled within a basket, Porter hit a deep 3-pointer with 1:11 remaining to all but wrap it up. Jamal Murray finished with 26 points, and Jokic added 22 points and 14 rebounds to help the Nuggets pull to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. 9/11 MEMORIESClippers coach Doc Rivers and Nuggets coach Michael Malone reflected on their memories on the 19th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.