The Denver Nuggets became only the 12th team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit. The highlight of the series was a duel between Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell.
The Utah Jazz, despite losing the series, outscored the Denver Nuggets by 24 points in the series. Their 3 blowout wins got everyone thinking that they could breeze through to the second round, if it weren’t for a monster performance from Jamal Murray in Game 5.
Key statistics from Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell’s first round performances
Both Donovan Mitchell and Jamal Murray had outings for the ages in the series. Mitchell scored the 3rd highest points in a playoff game in the Jazz’s game 1 loss. Both Mitchell and Murray had two 50-point outings in the series – throughout NBA history, only 2 players have ever done that. They combined to score the highest points by a duo in a playoff series.
Donovan Mitchell finished the series averaging 36.3 points per game, while Jamal Murray averaged 31.6 points. Murray was the more efficient player of the duo, shooting 55% from the floor, 53.3% from the 3-point line and 92% on free throws. Mitchell himself had stupendous splits, shooting 52.8% from the field, 51.6% on 3-pointers and 94.8% from the charity stripe.
Jamal Murray went to console Donovan Mitchell after a tough Game 7. pic.twitter.com/VuZVVUqthD
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 2, 2020
Both Murray and Mitchell were nuclear from distance. Mitchell broke the previous record for 3-pointers made in a playoff series with 33, while Murray was only one behind with 32. The record was previously held by Stephen Curry, who set it himself in a 3-1 comeback win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016.
The only duo of opposing players to score a comparable number of points in a playoff series are Jerry West and John Havlicek. West averaged 37.6 points per game in the 1969 NBA Finals and was declared the Finals MVP. Havlicek averaged 28.3 points per game in that series.