Nuggets storm back against Clippers to win game five


Los Angeles (AFP)

Jamal Murray sparked a fourth-quarter rally and rookie Michael Porter made several clutch plays down the stretch as the Denver Nuggets stayed alive with a 111-105 upset of the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

The Nuggets turned up the heat on the Clippers in the fourth quarter to cut Los Angeles' lead in the Western Conference semi-final series to 3-2 in the NBA's quarantine bubble in Florida.

Canada's Murray scored a team high 26 points, Nikola Jokic had 22 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and Paul Millsap tallied 17 points for the Nuggets, who were also down 3-1 in the previous series before storming back to win three straight against the Utah Jazz.

Murray was able to bust loose in game five after being contained for much of the series by a rotating trio of Clippers defenders, including Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley.

"We play the best when our backs are against the wall," said Murray. "It is as simple as that. We came up fighting. They had a good start but we had to fight back."

American Porter made a series of key plays late in the game including a three-point dagger from 27 feet out with 71 seconds remaining to give the Nuggets a five point lead, 105-100.

Porter, 22, also had a clutch block on Ivica Zubac 35 seconds later and drained four free throws in the final 21 seconds.

Leonard scored a game-high 36 points and George finished with 26 for the second seeded Clippers, who are trying to advance to their first Western Conference final.

Leonard has scored at least 30 points in seven playoff games. He is averaging almost 30 points per game in the postseason but he didn't get much help from the Clippers bench in game five.

Murray rebounded nicely on Friday, making five of seven baskets from beyond the arc after shooting six-of-15 from the field in game four.