NBA: Nuggets rally to avoid elimination; Clippers lead now 3-2


Posted at Sep 12 2020 09:28 AM | Updated as of Sep 12 2020 10:16 AM

NBA: Nuggets rally to avoid elimination; Clippers lead now 3-2 1
Jamal Murray (left) and the Nuggets live to fight another day after stunning the Clippers in Game 5 Friday (US time). Andrew D. Bernstein, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

Nikola Jokic scored 22 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, and Michael Porter Jr. came up with clutch plays down the stretch, as the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 111-105 on Friday (US time) in the Western Conference semifinals.

Jamal Murray chipped in 26 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists along with 5 3-pointers for Denver, which cut the series deficit to 3-2.

Game 6 is on Sunday.

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Los Angeles was in control in the first 3 quarters, holding a lead as big as 16 points in the first half and looking poised to finish off Denver.

After Paul George's basket made it 86-80 in the fourth quarter, the Nuggets got hot with back-to-back triples by Murray and Jokic that gave them their first lead of the game at 89-88 with 7 minutes left.

Another 3 by Jokic capped a 22-6 run for a 102-94 lead by Denver.

The Clippers fought back to draw within 102-100, thanks to 2 free throws by Kawhi Leonard.

But Porter, who drew criticism for his post Game 4 comments suggesting he was being under-utilized, hit from long distance to make it 105-100 and stem Los Angeles' momentum.

Porter's defense -- a crucial block and a defensive rebound -- coupled with 4 straight free throws secured the win for Denver, which was down 3-1 in the first round against the Utah Jazz before it came back to win the series in 7 games.

Porter scored all his 7 points in the final 1:11.

Leonard finished with 36 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals to lead the Clippers, who also got 26 points and 6 assists from George.