After heading into halftime of a must-win Game 5 down 12 points to a Clippers team playing great basketball, it seemed like the Nuggets season was likely to end on Friday night. TNT analyst Charles Barkley, in fact, guaranteed that the Clippers would win the game, joking that the Nuggets’ chartered jet was already being fueled up.
The Clippers’ lead was 15 points with nine minutes left in the third, but the Nuggets were able to cut the deficit to seven by the end of the quarter with Paul Millsap keeping the team in the game offensively. What followed was an unbelievable takeover performance from Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray to save the Nuggets’ season. Jokic hit four clutch shots in the quarter, including two huge threes.
Murray had a rough first half, shooting just 5-for-15 from the field, but hit three threes in the fourth.
The Nuggets have already overturned one 3-1 series deficit in these playoffs, coming from behind against the Jazz in the opening round. They’ll face another elimination game on Sunday, while the Lakers will hope to secure extra rest by closing out the Houston Rockets on Saturday.