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Nuggets’ Jamal Murray scores career-high 26 first-half points vs. Grizzlies

Jamal Murray, Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets absolutely dominated the Memphis Grizzlies in the first half of their matchup on Sunday evening, mostly due to the scoring exploits of point guard Jamal Murray.

Murray hung 26 points on the Grizzlies in the first two quarters, setting a career-high for most points in a single half:

Murray was clearly more aggressive on the offensive end against the Grizzlies. He took 11 shots in the first quarter and made all four of his shot attempts in the second period. Murray also buried three of his five 3-point attempts in the first half.

Nikola Jokic sprung Murray for multiple layups and dunks at the rim, as the two were in sync in the pick-and-roll. That duo has the potential to be as explosive as any “big-little” pairing in the league because of Jokic’s court vision and ability to seal off smaller defenders.

This could be the performance that Murray needs to really get rolling. Although he was still averaging 17.4 points through the first 11 games of the season, he was shooting just over 42 percent from the field and under 33 percent from beyond the arc.

Although Jokic powers Denver’s offense, Murray is by far the most capable of putting up explosive scoring numbers. The former Kentucky product can create off the dribble and has sneaky athleticism.

Indeed, the Nuggets will look for Murray to build on this latest performance. Denver ranked 27th in scoring and 24th in offensive rating entering Sunday night’s game, according to Basketball-Reference.

Jokic is the bonafide superstar in Mile High City, but Murray is the one who could really make the Nuggets an NBA title contender.