Kitchener’s Jamal Murray looks to join exclusive Canadian list after Denver Nuggets reach NBA finals | Canadian

Kitchener, Ont., native Jamal Murray moved one step closer to joining an exclusive list of Canadians when he helped the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night to earn a berth into the NBA Finals.

Winning the NBA title is a feat only eight other Canadians have accomplished, with Thornhill native and Golden State Warrior Andrew Wiggins being the most recent to do so, in 2022.

Murray scored 25 points to help the Nuggets to a 113-111 victory over the Lakers, a defeat which left Lakers’ star Lebron James contemplating retirement.

The Kitchener native, who had four consecutive 25-point games, is part of the first Denver team ever to reach the NBA Finals.

“We just want to make the most of the opportunity,” Murray told reporters after the game.

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“First Nuggets team to do this and that. We want to go all the way and stay locked in. I think our chemistry is at an all-time high, the way we play, the way we read the game without even speaking. We talk that language on the court. It’s just beautiful basketball, honestly. It’s so fun to play with this team and with (Jokic) and with the coaching staff that has groomed us into the team that we are.”

Murray, who averaged 30 points throughout the series, provides a dynamic one-two offensive punch alongside two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic.

Jokic’s brothers were seen celebrating with Murray’s dad after the game in a video that went viral after being posted on Twitter.

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Murray also received praise from politicians and pundits after the Nuggets dominating performance.

Berry Vrbanovic, Kitchener’s mayor, tweeted: “Skill & hard work of @BeMore27, coupled with @Cityof Kitchener vibes last night, now see @nuggets lead @lakers 3-0 in their best of 7 series! Best part was Jamal scoring 37pts again, becoming the 4th player in @NBA in last 25 yrs to have 3, 30+ point halves in Playoffs! #KTownProud.

Sports columnist Michael Grange commented: “Jamal Murray has put together the best playoff run by a Canadian (basketball player) ever and he’s not done yet…”

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Click to play video: 'Nuggets’ point guard Jamal Murray agrees to richest deal for a Canadian player in NBA history'

Nuggets’ point guard Jamal Murray agrees to richest deal for a Canadian player in NBA history

*With files from Canadian Press

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