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Mitchell, Murray score in 50s; Jazz beat Nuggets in NBA playoffs

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell made 15 of 27 shots and scored 51 points in a playoff win over the Denver Nuggets Sunday in Orlando, Fla. Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell made 15 of 27 shots and scored 51 points in a playoff win over the Denver Nuggets Sunday in Orlando, Fla. Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE

Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Donovan Mitchell scored 51 points to help the Utah Jazz hold off the Denver Nuggets in Game 4 Sunday night and take a commanding series lead in the Western Conference playoffs, despite a 50-point effort from Jamal Murray.

The Jazz now lead the series 3-1 after the 129-127 win Sunday in Orlando, Fla. Mitchell and Murray are the first opponents in NBA history to score at least 50 points in the same playoff game. Mitchell also scored 57 points in Game 1, a 135-125 overtime loss to Denver a week ago.

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Mitchell made 15 of 27 shots, 17 of 18 free throws and had seven assists and four rebounds in the win. He is just the third player in NBA history to score at least 50 points more than once in the same series, joining Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson.

"That was probably the most important game of the series for us," Mitchell told reporters.

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Murray made 18 of 31 shots and had 11 rebounds and seven assists in the loss. He made nine of 15 attempts from 3-point range.

Mitchell posted 13 points in the first quarter, but the Jazz trailed 36-33 after the first 12 minutes. The Nuggets pushed their lead to 10 points to open the second frame before the Jazz used a 7-0 run to cut the advantage to one point 9:08 before halftime.

Mitchell paced the Jazz with nine points while Murray scored 10 in the second quarter. The Nuggets led 65-64 at halftime.

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Mitchell was hot at the start of the third quarter and helped the Jazz regain the lead with 7:04 left in the frame. Mitchell scored 11 points in the third quarter and led the Jazz to a 94-87 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Nuggets cut Jazz's lead to one point on three separate occasions down the stretch behind several made 3-pointers from Murray, but Mitchell also made big shots and his free throws to secure the victory.

Murray had 21 points in the fourth quarter. Mitchell had 18 points over the final 6:46.

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Mike Conley scored 26 points in the win and Jordan Clarkson had 24 points off the Jazz bench. Rudy Gobert had 17 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Nikola Jokic scored 29 points and had seven rebounds and six assists for Denver.

"The job is not finished," Mitchell said. "As good as this one feels, we [only] won by two points. We are on to Game 5."

The Jazz next face the Nuggets in Game 5 at 6:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday in Orlando.

"No one wants to go home yet," Murray said. "There is a lot of fight left in us."

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