Donovan Mitchell scored 51 points and dished out seven assists to help the Utah Jazz outlast the Denver Nuggets for a 129-127 victory on Sunday night near Orlando, giving Utah a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference first-round playoff series.
Mitchell posted his second 50-point game in the series, becoming just the third NBA player, joining Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson, to score 50 points twice in the same playoff series.
Mike Conley scored 26 points and Jordan Clarkson added 24 off the bench for the Jazz. Rudy Gobert chipped in 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Jamal Murray exploded for 50 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists to lead Denver. Nikola Jokic added 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the loss.
The Nuggets started strong on offense and carried that momentum through the first quarter. Denver shot 14 of 25 (56 percent) from the field and totaled 36 points in the quarter.
Monte Morris and Jerami Grant moved into Denver's starting lineup and contributed to that early spark. A 3-pointer from Grant gave the Nuggets their biggest first-quarter lead at 22-16 with 4:56 to play in the period.
Mitchell kept Utah in it during the first quarter, however, scoring 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting. He hit a jumper and assisted on two other baskets to help put the Jazz ahead 25-24.
Denver used an 11-2 run to take a 43-35 lead -- its largest of the first half. Murray capped off the run with a three-point play. The Jazz stayed within striking distance, though, thanks to big baskets from Clarkson and Mitchell, and cut the deficit to 65-64 on a pair of free throws from Mitchell just before halftime.
Mitchell tallied 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the half.
The Jazz used another third-quarter surge to climb ahead of Denver. Conley keyed a 12-4 run with a pair of 3-pointers that gave Utah a 91-83 lead. He hit another 3-pointer and a pair of free throws to boost Utah's lead to 102-91 early in the fourth.
Denver heated up from the perimeter and cut the deficit to 109-108 on back-to-back 3-pointers from Murray. The Nuggets could not overtake the Jazz for a lead, however.
Mitchell drained a 3-pointer and hit five free throws in the final minute to help Utah secure the victory and make Game 5 on Tuesday a win-or-go-home game for Denver.
--Field Level Media
|Jamal Murray 50||Scoring||Donovan Mitchell 51|
|Jamal Murray 7||Assists||Donovan Mitchell 7|
|Jamal Murray 11||Rebounds||Rudy Gobert 11|
|Jamal Murray 5||Free Throws Made||Donovan Mitchell 17|
|Monte Morris 2||Steals||Mike Conley 2|
|Paul Millsap 2||Blocks||N/A|