Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets
#27 Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets celebrates a three-pointer against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. Bleacher Report/Twitter


  • Jamal Murray's big fourth quarter saved the Denver Nuggets in Game 2
  • Murray's play in the postseason proves how much of their success also relies on him
  • The Los Angeles Lakers will need to find out how to contain Murray and Nikola Jokic in Game 3

The Denver Nuggets looked in prime form to take over the NBA landscape when they logged the best record in the conference, and now they find themselves just two wins away from the NBA Finals.

The Los Angeles Lakers were feeling pretty confident of tying the series up at one game apiece entering Games 3 and 4 on their home floor as they built themselves a healthy double-digit lead that went as high as 11 points at one time

However, a concerted team effort by the Nuggets chopped that lead down to just three points entering the final frame and this was where star guard Jamal Murray showcased his chops.

Starting off with just 10 points in the first half and four in the third, Murray brought out his flame thrower in the fourth quarter to score 23 of the Nuggets' 32 points to take out the Lakers and gain a 2-0 series advantage, ending Game 2 with 37 points to his name.

Of the Nuggets' scoring plays in the final 12 minutes, Michael Porter Jr. kicked off the festivities with a three-pointer before Murray added a mid-range jumper plus back-to-back triples to force the Lakers to call timeout as the Nuggets overtook the Lakers, 87-83.

A Bruce Brown triple later was followed up by a pair of triples from Murray then Porter and from here on out, it was Murray scoring all of the points for the Nuggets.

Another three and a mid-range pull-up later from the Canadian guard, it became clear that the Lakers' offense had stalled down to a halt as Murray would knock down seven free throws in the final minute of Game 2.

For "The Blue Arrow" to put up such a performance in the playoffs after not shooting the ball well in the first half points to just how important Murray is to the Nuggets' success overall.

While many would point out that Jokic is the most valuable piece in Denver's arsenal, it is the Kentucky product's athleticism and sheer will that make the whole thing work for the entire team.

Without Murray, the Nuggets would be hard-pressed to find someone they can throw the ball to and initiate his own offensive sequence when the moment calls for it.

It has become clear that the absence of Murray in the past two postseasons was mainly at fault for their lack of postseason success.

Murray's revenge tour in the 2023 NBA playoffs already saw the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns fall beneath his feet and there are no signs of it stopping any time soon.

The remaining playoff teams know that Jokic is already an unstoppable force of nature that when coupled with Murray exploding at the right time is a recipe for disaster.

How Murray plays determines how far the Nuggets will go in this year's playoffs, and it will be up to Lakers head coach Darvin Ham—whose decision to start Rui Hachimura over Jarred Vanderbilt paid off slightly—to find a way to stop him while also feasibly containing Jokic.

Murray and the Nuggets will look to deliver the penultimate blow to the Lakers' hearts in Game 3 on Saturday, May 20.

Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets
#27 Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets. Bleacher Report/Twitter