Murray’s Heroics Send Nuggets to Semifinals, White’s Career Night Lifts Celtics

In a thrilling Game 5 showdown, Jamal Murray’s clutch jumper propelled the Denver Nuggets to a 108-106 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, securing their spot in the Western Conference semifinals.

Murray, showcasing his postseason prowess once again, delivered a tiebreaking 14-footer with just four seconds remaining, clinching the series for the second-seeded Nuggets with a 4-1 win. Despite battling a strained left calf, Murray notched a game-high 32 points, with 12 crucial points coming in the fourth quarter.

Nikola Jokic also played a pivotal role for the Nuggets, recording an impressive stat line of 25 points, 20 rebounds, nine assists, and seven turnovers. Michael Porter Jr. contributed 26 points, while Aaron Gordon chipped in with 13 rebounds.

On the Lakers side, LeBron James led the charge with 30 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to stave off elimination. Anthony Davis fought through an injured left shoulder to contribute 17 points and 15 rebounds, while Taurean Prince’s last-second 3-point attempt fell short.

Meanwhile, in Eastern Conference action, Derrick White’s career-high 38 points powered the Boston Celtics to a commanding 102-88 victory over the Miami Heat. White’s impressive shooting, including eight successful 3-pointers, propelled the Celtics to a 3-1 series lead, despite losing Kristaps Porzingis to a calf injury in the first half. Jayson Tatum added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Boston.

Bam Adebayo led the scoring for the Heat with 25 points and 17 rebounds, followed by Tyler Herro with 19 points and Caleb Martin with 18.

In another playoff matchup, the Oklahoma City Thunder completed a first-round sweep of the New Orleans Pelicans with a 97-89 victory. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams each scored 24 points for the Thunder, while CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas led the Pelicans’ effort with 20 and 19 points, respectively.

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