NBA

Jamal Murray Becomes First Player to Score 50 Points Without a Free Throw

Feb 19, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) makes a basket in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Jamal Murray continues his hot scoring streak with a 50 point game in a victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The interesting component to his excellent scoring night is that Murray didn’t even attempt a free throw.

Typically, when a player scores a high amount of points, they need to get to the line to get easy scores. However, Murray’s jumper was on fire, so there was no need to drive.

Murray was draining his pull-up threes. He would come off ball screens near half-court and pull from deep, even with a hand in his face. There isn’t much a defense can do when he’s shooting 8/10 from deep range.

Over the past five games, he’s averaged 31.4 points on 56% shooting. Hopefully, he can build on this and become a more consistent scorer for the Nuggets. Murray has had outbursts like this before, but his scoring can waver at times.

Occasionally, he’ll have the single-digit scoring night. Some of that could be attributed to the fact that the Nuggets are a high assist team and mainly run through Jokic to create shots. However, Murray needs to get his own every night to take the offense to the next level.

Playoff Jamal Murray

Feb 19, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) drives to the basket between Cleveland Cavaliers guard Isaac Okoro (35) and center JaVale McGee (6) in the fourth quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Look at what Jamal Murray did in the playoffs. He was why the Nuggets were able to come back from a 3-1 deficit in back-to-back rounds against two great teams in the Jazz and Clippers. Playoff basketball tilts to more isolation and two-man game, which favors Murray’s game.

When his pull-up is hitting, the Jokic and Murray two-man game becomes unguardable. If a team has to commit to an aggressive Murray, Jokic gets the ball in a short roll with an advantage. From there, Jokic can slice up a defense easily.

Murray’s scoring outburst with no free throws is an anomaly, but it shows how elite of a shooter Murray.

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