The Denver Nuggets won Game 7 of their series with Utah Jazz, erasing a 1-3 deficit they had in this matchup. Fantastic Nikola Jokic led his team tonight, in a defensive-minded match, which ended 80-78 in the Nuggets favor.
Denver was gambling with its destiny in the second half when they scored just 30 points allowing the Jazz to come back following a 19-point deficit, and even to take the lead early in the final sequence. Fortunately for them, in a tight finish, Jokic was there to score a couple of baskets and make a few assists, which eventually separated these two sides.
But even with all this, the Jazz had a chance to win. After Jokic’s tiebreaking basket with 27.8 points, for 80-78, Nuggets’ Gary Harris stole the ball from Donovan Mitchell, and instead of securing the win, Denver missed the shot, allowing Utah to have the last possession. Mike Conley missed a three-pointer that would send his crew to the next round.
Jokic ended the night with 30 points, 14 boards, and four assists, shooting 12-of-23 in 39 minutes. Jamal Murray wasn’t at the level we expected to see him in recent times, dropping just 17 points with one three in six attempts. His overall shooting was bad, 7-of-21.
Michael Porter Jr. added 10 off the bench with nine boards, two steals, and assists each.
Donovan Mitchell led the way among the Jazz, with 22 buckets, and a poor shooting percentage 9-of-22. However, that wasn’t the main problem in his game, but turnovers, which he had 9 last night. Jazz shooting guard had just one assist and nine rebounds.
Rudy Gobert scored 19 points with 18 boards and fought with all of his power, but didn’t have proper support under the rim. Mike Conley utterly failed to show up in this match, scoring 8 points in 40 minutes, with 2-of-13 shooting, and one three in five attempts. The veteran point guard’s presence was simply necessary for the Jazz to win.
The Nuggets became only the 12th team in the NBA’s history to come back after being down 3-1 and win the series.
There is not much time for celebration because they have one day to recover and rest, before the start of the Western Conference semis against the Clippers. Kawhi and the boys also had a tough first-round matchup against the Dallas Mavs, whom they eliminated 4-2.