Facebook Twitter

3 keys from the Utah Jazz’s 129-127 win over the Denver Nuggets

Donovan Mitchell scored a game-high 51 points, out-dueling Jamal Murray in a historic playoff battle.

SHARE 3 keys from the Utah Jazz’s 129-127 win over the Denver Nuggets

Utah Jazz’s Mike Conley (10) challenges Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray (27) for the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Ashley Landis, AP

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz are a win away from the second round of the NBA playoffs.

The Jazz defeated the Denver Nuggets 129-127 Sunday night in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series between the Western Conference foes. The victory was Utah’s third straight in the series.

Here are three keys to the Jazz’s win:

  • Donovan Mitchell. Donovan Mitchell. Donovan Mitchell. The Jazz guard was arguably the best player on the floor, an occurrence that has become increasingly common in the postseason. Mitchell led the Jazz with a game-high 51 points and added seven assists to boot. Mitchell was fairly efficient, particularly in the first half when he led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. He finished the game 15 of 27 from the field. Most importantly, he scored 13 of Utah’s final 15 points to seal the victory.

  • As good as Mitchell was, his wasn’t the only standout performance. Reserve Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson scored 24 points, Mike Conley added 26 points, while Rudy Gobert finished with a double-double, with 17 points and 11 rebounds. On the Denver side, Jamal Murray had the best game of his young postseason career, scoring a team-high 50 points and connecting on nine 3-pointers.

  • The Jazz entered the NBA bubble as the second-best 3-point shooting team in the NBA and they used the arc to great effect Sunday, making 14 shots from distance. The 3-point line wasn’t actually the best line for the Jazz in the game, though. Utah lived at the free-throw line and made the majority of their attempts — 31 of 36. Mitchell did most of the damage at the line with 17 made free throws on 18 attempts.