CLEVELAND – – Not himself of late, Jamal Murray got a lecture from Nuggets coach Michael Malone about being more aggressive and not passing up open shots. While All-Star starter Nikola Jokic added a triple-double on his birthday, it was Murray’s night.
“That’s what we live for as players,” Murray said, “That atmosphere.”
Murray scored Denver’s first 13 in the last quarter, and then passed his previous career best of 46 points by draining another 3 – on Jokic’s 10th assist – with 4 minutes left.
They made their first 12 shots, opened a 22-point lead in the second half and then let Murray close out the Cavs.
The Nuggets thrashed the Cavaliers on Feb. 10, beating them by 38 points and prompting Bickerstaff to criticize his players for being “Embarrassed.” He expected a better effort in the rematch between the teams.