Nuggets make history in first half vs. Cavs, but it didn’t involve Nikola Jokic
The Denver Nuggets have made history once again, except this time it didn’t involve All-Star starter Nikola Jokic. Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray combined for a record-breaking feat in the first half of Friday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
According to Sports Center, MPJ and Murray broke a 15-year drought of the Nuggets having multiple players score at least 20 points each in the first half of a game. The last Denver to do it was Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith.
For the first time since 2006, the @nuggets had multiple players (MPJ and Jamal Murray) score 20+ points in the first half.
The last pair to do so was Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith. pic.twitter.com/DXzNvnvFy0
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 20, 2021
That’s an impressive company to be a part of, and the fact Nikola Jokic isn’t one of the two is even more surprising. While Jokic has been the Nuggets’ best player and an MVP candidate through the first chunk of the year, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. will need to play well if Denver wants to make some noise in the Western Conference.
Prior to Friday’s game, Jokic was averaging 27.4 points with 11.1 rebounds and 8.6 assists including a career-high 40.2 percent from beyond the arc. As for Murray, he was putting up a career-best 19.4 points per game with 4.3 boards and 4.5 assists.
For MPJ, he went through the health and safety protocols and missed a good chunk of time. Since coming back, he is starting to find his groove before all the health issues this season. He was averaging 13.7 points with 6.1 boards, though he certainly needs to find a way to be the third-best player for the Nuggets more consistently.
The Nuggets were able to take care of the Cavs in easy fashion on Friday night and continue their ascension towards the top half of the West, just months after a Conference Finals loss to the Los Angles Lakers.
If the Nuggets want to make another deep run, MPJ and Murray are going to need to have huge games like this one more often.