TORONTO, Ont. (January 3, 2021) -- Jamal Murray scored a season-high 36 points on Sunday as he led the way in a 124-109 Denver Nuggets victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The sharpshooter from Kitchener, Ontario exploded for 36 points in 36 minutes, shooting 13-for-20 from the floor, including 3-for-7 from three and 7-for-9 from the free-throw line.
The fifth-year guard also added five rebounds, four assists and a steal without a turnover in his second consecutive game topping 30 points. Through five games this season, Murray is averaging 24.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists, shooting 49 percent from the floor and 41 percent from beyond the arc.
“I’m just making more shots than you guys expect,” Murray said after the game, via Mike Singer of the Denver Post. “Just doing what I do. Making winning a priority. That’s all we care about.”
Murray was assisted by teammate Nikola Jokic’s 19-point, 12-rebound, 12-assist performance, the fourth triple-double for Jokic already this season. When Jokic was stifled with early foul trouble on Sunday, Murray kept Denver ahead by scoring 26 of his 36 points in the first half as the Nuggets built a seven-point lead at the halftime break. The Wolves battled back in the third and held a slim one-point advantage to open the fourth quarter, but Denver used a 20-2 run in the final frame, outscoring Minnesota 41-25 in the quarter to regain control and go on to victory.
“Jamal Murray kept us in that game the whole night,” Nuggets head coach Michael Malone told reporters after the game. “I thought he set the tone early, being aggressive, looking for his offence for 36 points.”
The Nuggets picked up the victory in Minnesota, in the first game of an away and home match up against the Wolves. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for Denver and moved the team to 2-4 on the season. The Nuggets will now host the Timberwolves on Tuesday at Ball Arena in Denver.