Game 7’s are always going to be tense affairs. That’s what they are meant to be. But no one could have expected the one that took place between the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets to be as ugly as it was on Tuesday night. After a thrilling series that seesawed back and forth, it was the Nuggets that prevailed, winning the finale by a score of 80-78. That’s a final score, folks, not the score after three quarters. It was an extremely difficult game, and one in which each and every basket was contested.
Nikola Jokic, who led all scorers with 30 on the evening, somehow made the telling bucket with about 30 seconds to go, making a tough hook shot to give them the two-point edge. Some great defense got them the ball back, and they raced down the court only to miss a layup opportunity. That allowed Mike Conley a chance to win it from three, but his shot went in… and came back, handing the Nuggets the win and seeing them into the next round. Donovan Mitchell led the way for the Jazz, scoring 22 points as an eventful series comes to a close. Meanwhile, earlier in the day, the Boston Celtics took a 2-0 series edge over the Toronto Raptors to put a stranglehold over their Eastern rivals. The 102-99 win was keyed by the performances of Jayson Tatum, who scored 34 points, and Marcus Smart. The latter drained five three-pointers in the final quarter to help Boston come from behind in the fourth. It’s now going to be an uphill battle for the defending champions to claw their way out of this hole.
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