Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray Lights Up Atlanta Hawks

The Denver Nuggets dominated the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night, and for once this season, their MVP candidate Nikola Jokic took a back seat. Jamal Murray scored a season-high 41 points to lift his team to a convincing 128-108 win.

Murray hit 15 of his 24 field goal attempts, including seven of 12 from three. He also added five rebounds and seven assists. After injury-riddled 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons in which he appeared in only 48 total games, Murray finally appears to be hitting his stride again: tonight was his third consecutive 30+ point game. His re-emergence as a scorer has allowed Jokic to excel as a facilitator: the MVP candidate has averaged a ridiculous 16.7 rebounds and 13.7 assists over Murray's recent scoring outburst.

The Nuggets sport a Western Conference-leading 37-16 record and were one of the favorites to win the title even before Murray's recent hot streak. For the season, he has averaged a respectable 20.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game with a .575 true shooting percentage. If he drastically improves on those numbers (as he has of late), the Nuggets could evolve into a juggernaut at just the right time.

The Nuggets face the Minnesota Timberwolves in a home-and-home on Sunday and Tuesday.

Photo Credit © Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports