DENVER -- As Jamal Murray headed to the bench after recording his fifth 40-point postseason game, he soaked in the admiration of the sold-out Ball Arena crowd.

Murray's other four 40-point playoff outings came in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, during the 2020 playoffs. This one was different.

With 11 seconds remaining, Nuggets coach Michael Malone gave Murray a curtain call as home fans cheered away the final moments of Wednesday's 122-113 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves that gave Denver a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference first-round series.

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"It's nice having a crowd," Murray said. "They get me going. It's great energy." Murray finished with 40 points on 13-of-22 shooting as he went 6-of-10 from 3-point range. Now he has more 40-point playoff games (five) than 40-point regular-season games (four).


Murray's production was sorely needed as what was shaping up to be a runaway Nuggets victory turned into a tight game. Denver led by as many as 21 in the first half, but that advantage was erased by the end of the third quarter.

Minnesota took a two-point lead into the fourth quarter after winning the third quarter 40-23, but Denver was able to storm back for the Game 2 victory.

Denver outscored the Wolves 35-24 in the fourth quarter to secure the win and give the team its first 2-0 series lead under Malone in the playoffs.

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