Denver Nuggets Jamal Murray (27) drives against Royce O'Neale of the Utah Jazz during the first half of an NBA playoff game in Florida. — AFP/VNA Photo
FLORIDA — Jamal Murray scored 36 points, including 10 in overtime, as the Denver Nuggets overcame a 57-point performance from Donovan Mitchell to defeat the Utah Jazz 135-125 in a playoff game on Monday.
Nikola Jokic finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds for Denver, who were taken to overtime by the Jazz for the second-straight contest.
Jokic had a chance to ice the victory in regulation, but his hook shot at the buzzer over Utah's Rudy Gobert failed to drop.
Murray seized command in overtime, clinching the outcome with a three-point dagger with 46 seconds on the clock to give the Nuggets a 1-0 lead in their first round NBA playoff series.
Mitchell has a habit of saving his best for the Nuggets, but it wasn't enough as he was 13-of-13 from the free throw line in scoring a franchise playoff record 57 points.
The teams met four times in the regular season and the last time was August 8, when Mitchell had another huge game but the Jazz lost that one as well in double overtime. The Nuggets have now won all five games against the Jazz this season.
This is the fifth time the teams have met in the playoffs and the Jazz have won three of those previous playoff series, most recently a 4-2 win in the first round of the 2010 playoffs.
Utah, which tied for second in the Northwest Division behind Denver, is making its fourth straight playoff appearance.
The Jazz were eliminated in the first round by Houston in 2019, but reached the Western Conference semi-finals the previous two playoffs. — AFP