Nuggets takeaways: Why Jamal Murray’s monster dunk that “got the building lit” should have counted

Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray threw down one of the best dunks you’ll ever witness. And, the only thing crueler than his posterization of Bucks forward D.J. Wilson Monday night at the Pepsi Center was an offensive foul call that waived off the slam.

The dunk came with 9.8 seconds left in the third quarter of the Nuggets’ 109-95 win against the G-League Bucks. Was it really a charge?

Yes, Murray’s left forearm connects with Wilson in mid-flight, and it helped Murray climb up to hammer the basketball down as Wilson hit the deck. But Wilson jumped from inside the restricted circle beneath the hoop.

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“I wanted to just drive and get at the rim,” Murray said. “I felt like I had a step, so I took off.”

Murray’s “non-dunk” created palpable energy among the raucous home crowd. And, based on coach/teammate/Twitter reaction, it delivered a memory not soon forgotten.

Coach Michael Malone: “It got the building lit. Everybody was up.”

Teammate Jerami Grant: “It was crazy. I didn’t think (Murray) had it in him. … Obviously, he does.”

Jamal Murray just killed a man

— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) March 10, 2020

i want the referee’s name and badge number for ruling this Jamal Murray dunk an offensive foul

— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) March 10, 2020

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“After that, the crowd was into it every single play; rebound, steal, block and bucket,” Murray said. “Once we get them going, they get us going. It’s a lot of fun.”

Shooting range

Among the more intriguing first-half statistics Monday night was the 3-point shooting successes of Paul Millsap and Jerami Grant. Their combined scoring clip behind the arc after two quarters: 5 of 12.

“It was the way they were playing,” Grant said. “We’ve got some stretch-fours who can shoot the ball and it worked to our advantage.”

The consistent outside scoring presence of Millsap and Grant has the potential to create matchup nightmares for opponents whether they drop in defensive coverage, like the Bucks, or if defended by small-ball lineups.

Denver features rare depth and versatility at power forward that must be a team strength, especially on nights when All-Star Nikola Jokic is not at his best.

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