The Denver Nuggets entered their Thursday night game against division rivals Portland Trail Blazers losers of their past three games, causing frustrations to mount within the locker room. As is usually the case in matchups between the Nuggets and Blazers, the two were locked in yet another dogfight, with Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic doing their best to hold off Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Unfortunately for the Nuggets, it seemed as if the clock struck ‘Dame Time’ yet again. Damian Lillard, in only his second game back from a calf injury, dropped 40 points on an incredible 12-22 shooting from the field and 9-17 from deep, including a step to the right triple over a contest from Jamal Murray to give the Blazers a 120-118 lead with 8.1 seconds to go. But Murray was not to be outdone.

Jamal Murray decided to take matters in his own hands. Murray shook off Jerami Grant, a solid defender in his own right, with a quick crossover to his left, stopping on a dime then stepping back, hoisting up a gorgeous stepback triple over the leaping closeout.


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Damian Lillard and the Blazers still had a chance to snatch the game with an alley-oop with mere tenths of a second remaining on the clock, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope swatted the inbound pass to seal the Nuggets victory.

Jamal Murray came alive in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 21 points on the night during the payoff period. It may not have been the most efficient scoring night for the Nuggets point guard, but these crunch-time exploits should only bode well for his future prospects as he recovers further from the ACL injury he suffered in 2021.