Just when it seemed the Clippers were ready to conquer the first conference finals in their history, the old ghosts of the franchise returned to visit them. Also ahead by 16 points in Game-5 against Denver and with a 7-point lead at the start of the final quarter, Doc Rivers’ team was recovered and beaten in a final quarter by 38-25 for the Nuggets.
The furious comeback of the Nuggets bears the signature of their three best players, who at the decisive moment managed to level up. After struggling in the first three quarters, Jamal Murray scored the three triples he took in the final fraction and finished with 26 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists while shooting 9/25. Nikola Jokic accompanied him with 4/4 shooting in the final quarter with 22 points, 14 rebounds and 5 final assists.
However, the “dissident” Michael Porter Jr., who after the defeat in game-4 had complained about the few touches, to sign the +5 basket with just over a minute from the end. The Nuggets rookie took advantage of the low-score Lou Williams to score a triple without thinking too much after receiving the pass from Jokic, then signing the 4 throws to close the scores and a crucial block on Ivica Zubac. All 7 points of his game arrived in the final after 21 minutes on the spot.
Inevitably, this is a disappointing result for the Clippers, not least because the first three quarters saw them in control of operations as successful for most of the series. The Los Angeles people, however, failed to close the accounts in the final despite a Kawhi Leonard with 36 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals with 12/24 shooting and 5/12 from three, signing 13 points in the final fraction alone while the comrades shot only 4/18.
The Clippers will again have the opportunity to close their accounts on Sunday evening at 19.00 Italian time for game-6, obviously live on Sky Sport channels like all the games from now to the end of the season.