Nikola Jokic leads Nuggets rally from 3-1 deficit in Game 7 win over Jazz

Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic (15) makes a pass through traffic as Utah Jazz's Juwan Morgan (16), right, defends during the first half an NBA first round playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

There were no offensive fireworks on Tuesday.

After six games marked by historic output from Jamal Murray and Donovan Mitchell, the Denver Nuggets ground out a Game 7 win over the Utah to advance to the second round of the playoffs. The 80-78 Denver win resembled a 90s playoff slugfest more than high-octane bubble-ball that had come to define this series.

Nuggets star Jamal Murray didn’t approach a third 50-point game of the series. But he didn’t need to as Denver thwarted a second-half rally from Utah after blowing a 14-point halftime lead. With Utah’s defense focused on slowing Murray, the Nuggets looked instead to their All-NBA center down the stretch.

With the game tied at 78, Nikola Jokic leaned on his trademark footwork and floated a high-arcing hook shot over Rudy Gobert for the go-ahead bucket with 27.8 seconds remaining.

Mike Conley’s game-winning 3-point attempt at the buzzer rattled off the rim to ensure that Denver would advance after digging a 3-1 hole to start the series.

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