Jordan Clarkson’s second quarter surge went for naught after the Utah Jazz blew a big lead in a 117-107 loss to the Denver Nuggets that extended their NBA Western Conference first round playoff series in Orlando.
Clarkson finished with 17 points, three rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes off the bench but the Jazz failed to close out the series after the Nuggets came roaring back in the second half behind the scoring barrage of guard Jamal Murray.
Murray hit 33 of his 42 points in the final two quarters, helping Denver stay alive by cutting Utah’s lead in the best-of-seven series to 3-2.
Game 6 is set Friday morning Manila time inside the Disney World complex.
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell had 30 points in a losing effort.
The Fil-American guard continued his impressive showing, making 13 points in the second period which saw the Jazz pull away to take a 63-54 halftime lead.
He had three triples in that quarter, including back-to-back triples that put Utah ahead 51-43 with 4:41 remaining.
Clarkson made just one basket in the second half, a corner three to make it 77-67 with under six minutes left in the third, and the Jazz looked as if they were heading into the second round.
But Murray’s timely explosion prevented Clarkson and the Jazz from moving on.