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Jamal Murray scores 42 as Nuggets beat Jazz, force Game 6

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (L) drives to the basket as Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale (23) defends during the first half of Game 5 in their first-round playoff series Tuesday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE
Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (L) drives to the basket as Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale (23) defends during the first half of Game 5 in their first-round playoff series Tuesday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE

Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Jamal Murray exploded for 42 points and Nikola Jokic added 31 to guide the Denver Nuggets to a 117-107 win over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night inside the NBA bubble near Orlando, Fla.

Murray played every minute of the third and fourth quarters and scored 33 of his 42 points in the second half to help the Nuggets avoid elimination. Denver now trails the sixth-seeded Jazz 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.

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The University of Kentucky product caught fire down the stretch and came close to matching his 50-point outing in Game 4. Murray sank 17 of 26 shots and notched eight assists, including a key pass to Jokic for a 3-pointer with only 23.6 seconds left to seal the Nuggets' victory.

"Whenever he's like that we are winning the game or we are really close," said Jokic, who also played the entire second half. "That's what we need from him."

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Before Jokic's game-clinching 3-pointer, Murray scored nine straight points to give the Nuggets some separation. Jokic scored 21 of his 31 points in the first quarter.

"We've all got a will to win. Simple as that," Murray said. "That can carry you. That can take you places."

Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with a team-best 30 points and five assists. The star guard has averaged 37.6 points per game over the first five games of the series.

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Jazz guard Mike Conley had 17 points and five assists and Joe Ingles scored 13 on 5-of-8 shooting. Reserve Jordan Clarkson had 17 points off the bench, while Rudy Gobert added 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Game 6 of the first-round Western Conference playoff series is set for Thursday.

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