Jamal Murray highlights: Wild layups for Nuggets in Game 4 vs. Lakers - Sports Illustrated

You Have to See These Three Wild Jamal Murray Shots From Game 4 vs. Lakers

In Friday’s Hot Clicks: Jamal Murray’s wizardry around the basket, the Pac-12’s return to fall football and more.
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Acrobatic is an understatement

No player has stepped his game up inside the NBA bubble as much as Jamal Murray. If Murray was a budding superstar during the pre-pandemic regular season, he’s fully blossomed in the Disney environment. He erupted for two 50-point games in the Nuggets’ first-round series against the Jazz and had 40 in Game 7 of the conference semis against the Clippers. He’s scored at least 20 points in seven straight games, dating back to Game 5 of that Clippers series. 

Murray has also shown the ability to score in a variety of ways. He hit nine threes in each of those 50-point games against Utah, but at other times he’s scored by getting out in transition or taking advantage of the pick-and-roll. After Game 4, LeBron James, who was tasked with guarding Murray in the fourth quarter, credited the young Canadian for his versatility. 

“The kid is special,” LeBron told reporters. “He has an array of shots. Triple threat from the 3, midrange and also in the paint.”

Murray may have missed all three of his three-point attempts in the Nuggets’ 114–108 loss to the Lakers, but he was a menace in the paint. On at least three occasions, Murray made stunning shots around the basket that made everyone’s jaw drop. 

The one that’s (rightfully) getting the most attention is this midair adjustment on a layup, right in the face of LeBron. 

That’s just ridiculous. He totally intended to dunk that ball when he left his feet but he has the awareness and the athleticism to turn it into a reverse layup midair. 

But that wasn’t the only circus shot Murray sunk in the game. Check out this high-arcing shot over the much taller Anthony Davis. 

And then there was this one-handed fadeaway with his off hand. 

Whether he’s been taking over games or just providing highlights like these, Murray has been a joy to watch during these playoffs. Any fan who wasn’t aware of his star power before the bubble surely respects him now. It’ll be a real shame if the Lakers close out the Nuggets on Saturday and that’s the last time we get to see Denver play for a while. 

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Email dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.