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Jamal Murray is a good basketball player who had many observers wondering why he wasn't playing even better so far this season.
That's the natural result of what Murray did in the NBA bubble last year, torching teams repeatedly in a breakout performance for the ages. Murray averaged 26.5 points per game in the postseason, topping 40 points four different times. "Bubble Murray" became an instantly recognizable term for the experience of watching the Denver Nuggets star score heat check after heat check.
Fast forward to Friday morning, and Murray was averaging only 19.4 points per game and hadn't topped 40 points once all season. That has now changed.
Jamal Murray drops 50 on Cavs
Murray topped 40 points and more on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, leading the Nuggets to a 120-103 win.
Here is one way he scored some points:
And here's how he capped the night off:
It was a career-high 50-point game for Murray, though that's only in the regular season. Murray twice touched 50 in last year's playoffs.
This wasn't just any 50-point night either; it was a historically efficient flurry from the field and from deep. Murray finished 21-of-25 from the field and 8-of-10 from deep, leading to a number of accounts tweeting stats that basically told the same story.
The NBA noted that Murray is the first player to top 50 points while shooting more than 80% from the field and from 3-point range. The Nuggets tweeted the same stat, but with eight made 3-pointers instead of 3-point percentage. The Athletic pointed that Murray was the only player to score 50 on 84% shooting other than Wilt Chamberlain. ESPN found that Murray was the first to score 50 without making a single free throw.
All of those routes take you to the same destination. No one else has ever scored 50 points the way Murray just did, ripping the Cavs apart from the field and only from the field.
Maybe it's a sign of a return to the form everyone expected of Murray after the bubble, or maybe it's just a big night for a streaky player. Either way, Murray has proven to be quite a spectacle five years into his career.
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