The first neutral-court Game 7 in NBA history absolutely did not disappoint. After six of the highest-scoring individual performances in playoff history, Game 7 was completely and utterly dominated by defense. The Jazz scored only 36 first-half points. The Nuggets scored 15 points in the first 16 minutes of the second half. The stars were exhausted, hurting and practically limped to the finish line. But when it was all said and done, Denver stood on top, 80-78. They will now take on the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round.
The Jazz may be going home, but they will be able to take pride in a tremendous comeback effort after falling down by as many as 19 in the first half. Donovan Mitchell carried the offensive load in the third quarter, and then Rudy Gobert owned the paint in the fourth. But a hook shot from Nikola Jokic with 27.5 seconds remaining gave the Nuggets the game and the series. After perhaps the most exciting seven first-round games in NBA history, Denver squeaked by Utah in a Game 7 for the ages.