Jamal Murray was limited to 17 points on 7-for-16 shooting in the Denver Nuggets’ 126-121 road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday. “Glitch,” who was clutch for his team in last year’s playoffs, particularly battled in the fourth quarter. Denver’s starting point guard missed all four of his shots and committed two turnovers.
Murray’s cold-shooting final period was a big reason the 76ers outscored the Nuggets 27-17 in the said quarter. Denver had taken a 104-99 lead heading into the final frame. If he had converted his field goal attempts, the outcome might have been different.
After the game, Sixers guard Patrick Beverley was asked about the key to containing Jamal Murray. The three-time All-Defensive team member casually replied (via Ky Carlin):
“No key. I’ve been locking his a** up for years.”
When pressed about how he prepares for someone like the Nuggets’ star guard, he again nonchalantly answered:
“No approach. Normal day.”
Patrick Beverley’s words might have some truth in them. Jamal Murray is averaging 15.9 points on 43.8% shooting, including 33.3% from deep in 17 regular-season meetings against “Mr. 94 Feet.” The 2023 NBA champ has a 6-11 record during that stretch.
In the Philadelphia 76ers’ win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, though, it wasn’t Beverley who guarded Murray most of the time. Because the Nuggets endlessly ran pick-and-rolls between Murray and Nikola Jokic, it was Nic Batum and Kelly Oubre Jr. who mostly shadowed “Glitch.”
Batum and Oubre Jr. have the size and length to make it tough for Jamal Murray to score. It worked to perfection, particularly in the fourth quarter of the said game.
Murray’s struggles weren’t on the Sixers’ defense alone. He missed a couple of open shots. Had he hit a few of those, Patrick Beverley might not have been so brash with his comments.
Jamal Murray dominated Patrick Beverley in the 2020 playoffs
Patrick Beverley has the upper hand in career regular-season battles with Jamal Murray. The playoffs, though, painted a different picture when the two met.
Beverley was with the LA Clippers when they faced Murray’s Denver Nuggets in the semifinals of the 2020 Western Conference playoffs. LA had a dominating 3-1 lead but failed to close out Denver. Nikola Jokic was the best player in that series but “Glitch” played a big role in the come-from-behind series win.
Jamal Murray played a team-high 40.2 minutes per game and averaged 22.6 PPG, 6.4 APG, 4.4 RPG and 1.3 SPG. He shot 44.7%, including 43.8% from deep. Patrick Beverley wasn’t the only elite Clipper defender on that roster. That team also had Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Beverley has done his part in limiting Murray in the regular season. The 2020 playoffs offered a different story. It will be interesting to see how “Mr. 94 Feet” will do if the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers meet in the NBA Finals.
Edited by Michael Macasero