ORLANDO (ABC4 Sports) – Donovan Mitchell almost single-handedly brought the Utah Jazz back against the Denver Nuggets. But the comeback effort fell short in double overtime in a 134-132 loss.
Mitchell scored 35 points, including seven points in the final ten seconds of regulation, as the Jazz erased a 6-point deficit to send the game into overtime.
But Jamal Murray scored 23 points in his first game of the NBA restart, as the Nuggets held on for the victory.
Mitchell, who also dished out eight assists, made a 3-pointer with 4.2 seconds remaining in the second overtime, but he missed a desperation heave from near half-court as the game ended.
“At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to that in playoff time,” Mitchell said. “So I’ve got to be ready to hit those shots. That’s my job, that’s what I’m supposed to do. I think the biggest thing is making the shot and moving on to the next play. My teammates trust me and my coaches trust me to go out there and do that. I liked the way we played as a whole, as a group, we stepped up and it was a great effort.”
Murray, playing his first game since March 11 after missing four games with left hamstring tightness, sank a fallaway jumper for a 123-all tie and then beat the shot clock with a go-ahead 3-pointer. He had 12 rebounds and eight assists, just missing a triple-double.
Nikola Jokic scored 10 of his 30 points in the first overtime for Denver, which solidified its hold on third place in the Western Conference playoff standings.
Mitchell’s jumper gave Utah a 119-117 lead with 3.4 seconds remaining in the first overtime. He said he should have not left time on the clock for Jokic’s tying basket.
“That’s really the only reason why I’m upset because I should know that,” Mitchell said. “That’s a mental error on my part. I feel like if I do that, hit the same shot, they don’t have an opportunity to do that, so that’s on me.”
Rudy Gobert, who earlier was named a finalist for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, scored 22 points and pulled down 13 rebounds before fouling out in the first overtime.
Mike Conley scored 20 points, while Jordan Clarkson added 19 for the Jazz, who built an 18-point lead in the first half but could not hold it.
Joe Ingles scored 11 points and had a season-high 13 points, while Royce O’Neale has 6 points and 11 rebounds.
Utah struggled offensively in the fourth quarter, scoring just 10 points until Mitchell took over in the final seven seconds.
The Jazz made 12 of 21 3-pointers in the first half and 22 for the game on 50 attempts (40%). Clarkson made four of six 3’s in the half and finished 5 of 9. The Jazz led 63-49 at halftime.
Mitchell, Gobert, Conley and O’Neale all missed Friday’s loss to San Antonio for rest or various minor injuries.
The Jazz (43-27) fall back to the sixth seed in the Western Conference. They will next play Dallas Monday at 1:00 p.m.