LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla .– Six straight playoff games and six straight wins for the Denver Nuggets in the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
The Nuggets’ remarkable playoff series continues against all odds after a 104-89 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 of the Western Conference semi-finals on Tuesday.
Denver center Nikola Jokic was sensational with a triple-double masterpiece: 16 points, 22 rebounds and 13 assists, three blocks and two steals. Jokic is now 3-1 in Game 7 with two triple doubles.
“He dominated the game in so many ways,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers.
Jamal Murray had 40 points, Gary Harris and Jerami Grant each had 14 points, and Denver turned out to be the hardest working, most disciplined and best team.
“We have a really relaxed squad, and I think the reason is we went through four playoff rounds in two years and each went to a seventh game,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said ahead of the game. . “It’s very familiar territory to us, something that we are used to.”
Denver followed the Clippers 61-54 with 10:50 left in the third quarter. When Murray lost 3 points with 8:48 remaining in the fourth quarter, Denver had an 89-75 lead.
Jerami Grant’s dunk with 2:10 left in the game put Denver ahead 100-80. The Nuggets destroyed the Clippers in the second half, topping them 50-33.
This is not how the Clippers expected their season to end with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. But they went a 10 for 38 combined shot, including 4 for 18 on 3 points. Leonard had just 14 points, George only 10. Montrezl Harrell led the Clippers with 20 points.
Denver qualifies for the conference finals for the first time since 2009 and will face the Los Angeles Lakers. The first match will take place on Friday.
To get there, the Nuggets have done the improbable. For the second straight series, they came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the series – first against Utah in the first round and now against the Clippers.
Denver is the first team to eliminate a 3-1 deficit and win the series twice in the same playoff series. It had happened just 11 times in NBA history entering those playoffs.