Lake Buena Vista (Florida, USA), Sep 1 (efe-epa).- Nikola Jovic’s impressive performance for the Denver Nuggets boosted his side to the Western Conference semifinals while Jayson Tatum rose to the challenge to deliver the Boston Celtics a 2-0 lead in its Eastern Conference series.
Serbian player Jokic was the hero of the night for the Nuggets as he broke the deadlock with the Utah Jazz to help the Denver franchise win 80-78 in the decisive seventh game in the series (4-3).
It sealed a comeback that has seen Denver overturn a 1-3 disadvantage in the series, becoming the 12th team to pull off such a feat in NBA history.
The Utah Jazz was close to making history of its own with Mike Conley missing his final throw of the game and falling short of a triple.
The Nuggets will now embark on a semifinal campaign against the Los Angeles Clippers, which won its series against the Dallas Mavericks 4-2.
After Jokic’s basket, Utah passed the ball to their star guard Donovan Mitchell but it was stolen back by Denver only for Torrey Craig to miss the layup. Utah got the ball back and set up Conley, whose final attempt in the dying seconds bounced off the rim, sealing defeat.
Jokic topped the game off with a double-double of 30 points and 14 rebounds while Jamal Murray scored 17 points.
Michael Porter Jr. was on the verge of a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
In the Western Conference, Tatum and Marcus Smart were both crucial for Boston’s 102-99 win over the Toronto Raptors in the second game of the best-of-seven semifinals.
Tatum secured 34 points, with eight rebounds and six assists, etching his name as the leader for Boston, which was strong defensively in the final quarter.