Denver Nuggets

This Date in NBA History (Aug. 30): Jamal Murray's 50-point Game 6 helps Nuggets force Game 7 against Jazz in 2020 playoffs

On Aug. 30, 2020, Jamal Murray exploded for 50 points in Game 6 of the Denver Nuggets' first-round series against the sixth-seeded Utah Jazz.

His game-high tally not only helped the Nuggets stave off elimination for a second-straight game by leading them to a 119-107 Game 6 victory but ensured the series would go to winner-take-all Game 7.

Murray scored 21 (7-8 FGs, 5-5 3PTs) of the Nuggets' 31 points in the fourth quarter, including a personal 12-0 run over a three-minute stretch and the clutch bucket that sealed the victory.

The 6-foot-3 Canadian guard also dished out six assists but what was remarkable about the performance was Murray's efficiency. He knocked down 17 of his 24 field goal attempts (70.8 percent) and went 9-for-12 from beyond the arc (75.0 percent) and 7-for-9 from the free-throw line.

Those superhuman numbers made Murray the first player since Charles Barkley in 1994 to score 50 points or more at an efficiency of 70 percent or better.

Having also scored 50 earlier in the series in Game 4, Murray became only the fourth player ever (Donovan Mitchell joined this list earlier this series) to score 50 or more twice in the same playoff series.

Coming off scoring a combined 92 points in the previous two games, Murray became the first player since Allen Iverson in 2001 to register three straight playoff games with 40 or more. In terms of a single series, he became the first player since Michael Jordan in the 1993 NBA Finals to have three straight playoff games with at least 40.

Murray's combined tally over the three-game stretch of 142 points is surpassed only by two players in NBA playoff history: Jerry West (1965) and Michael Jordan (1988).

This performance came four days after NBA teams, led by the Milwaukee Bucks, boycotted playoff games in reaction to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Although the games and playoffs resumed after four days, there was certainly plenty of emotions behind the players' protests. This could also be seen and felt in Murray's postgame interview.

"These shoes mean a lot," he said. "You find things that hold value, you find things to fight for and we found something worth fighting for as the NBA as a collective unit. I use these shoes as a symbol to me to keep fighting all around the world. They give me a lot of power to keep fighting."

"It's not just America, it happens everywhere," Murray said of the ongoing racial injustices.

Other notable events on Aug. 30

  • In 2017, Kyrie Irving was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics. In return, the Cavaliers received Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, Ante Žižić, a 2018 first-round draft pick (Collin Sexton was later selected) and a 2020 second-round draft pick (Skylar Mays was later selected).
  • In 1997, the Houston Comets defeated the New York Liberty, 65-51 to be crowned the first-ever WNBA champions. 1997 regular season MVP Cynthia Cooper, who was the game's leading scorer with 25, was named Championship MVP.

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