EditorsNote: 9th graf, change ‘but’ to ‘by’ ... as in ‘by just two at halftime’
Jamal Murray scored a career-high 48 points to outshine Kyrie Irving, and the host Denver Nuggets rallied to beat the Boston Celtics 115-107 on Monday night.
Murray missed a chance to become the first Denver player since Carmelo Anthony to score 50 or more points in a game. Anthony did it twice, the last time on Feb. 7, 2011, two weeks before he was traded to the New York Knicks.
Murray’s big night helped the Nuggets to their fifth straight win.
Irving finished with 31 and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown had 15 each for Boston. The Celtics have lost two straight.
Murray, whose previous career high was 38 against Portland in January, had 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting through the first three quarters, then took over with 19 points in the fourth to lead Denver to the win.
The Celtics closed within one when Murray heated up. His fadeaway 13-footer gave Denver a 93-90 lead. He then hit two 3-pointers in a personal 8-0 run to give the Nuggets a 104-96 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Irving hit another basket to cut the lead to five but Murray beat Marcus Smart off the dribble for a layup. He hit two more layups to reach 48 points and a 114-105 lead with 1:43 left.
He had a few chances to reach 50 points but missed a 3-ponter and a layup with the outcome still in doubt. He missed a meaningless 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Boston came out strong and took an 18-point lead with a 7-0 run late in the first quarter. Denver dominated the second quarter, outscoring the Celtics 35-22 to trail by just two at halftime.
The Nuggets took their first lead on Juan Hernangomez’s 3-pointer to open the third quarter. The game remained tight throughout the period before Malik Beasley’s shot from long range helped Denver take an 84-79 lead late in the third.
Denver outscored Boston 69-47 in the second and third quarters to take an 88-81 lead heading into the fourth.
—Field Level Media