LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Jamal Murray showed up for his postgame Zoom call wearing a shirt featuring the image of boxing great Muhammad Ali.
Almost fitting, given the Denver Nuggets withstood blow after blow from Donovan Mitchell before landing the knockout punch.
Murray scored 10 of his 36 points in overtime on a day Mitchell went for the third-most points in a playoff game with 57, and the Nuggets beat Utah 135-125 on Monday in Game 1 of their first-round series.
"It was just lights, camera, action and come on we're trying to get this win," Murray said.
Nikola Jokic finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds for Denver. He had a chance to win it in regulation at the buzzer, but his right-handed hook shot over Utah's Rudy Gobert was off the mark. Murray took over in the extra period, sealing the game on a three-pointer with 46.8 seconds remaining.
Game 2 is Wednesday.
Mitchell was the star of the show in the absence of Mike Conley, who left the NBA bubble to return to Ohio for the birth of his son. Mitchell's scoring spree surpassed the Jazz mark of 50 by Karl Malone on April 22, 2000, against Seattle.
Mitchell was 19 of 33 from the floor and 13 of 13 from the free-throw line. He hit six three-pointers in 43 minutes, 14 seconds of work. He also had seven assists and nine rebounds.
"The biggest thing was just to try to make the right plays," the 23-year-old said.
For all his offensive handiwork, it was a play near the end of the game that Mitchell lamented. With the Jazz leading 109-105 and 1:46 remaining in regulation, Mitchell was called for an 8-second violation as he dribbled the ball up the floor. Murray promptly responded with a three-pointer to get Denver right back into the game.
"That's my fault. As a leader and as a point guard at that time, that's terrible on my part," Mitchell said. "That really changed the entire game, that sequence right there.
"At the end of the day, we're not overreacting. It's one game."
It was no surprise this game went down to the wire. Denver went 3-0 against Utah during the regular and restarted season, but won by a combined margin of just 11 points, including a 134-132 double-overtime thriller on Aug 8.
Murray and Mitchell stood out in this game. Murray had 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. Mitchell had 22 points in the fourth and 17 in the second.
And yes, they were chatting in a friendly trash-talk way.
"I'm smiling because those are the games you want to be in," Murray said. "Those are the games that are the most fun and most competitive."
Back to the drawing board on defense after Mitchell had such a big game?
"If Donovan Mitchell averages 57 and we win, I'll stay away from the drawing board," Nuggets Coach Michael Malone cracked. "With no Mike Conley, I said going into the series, 'He's going to be much more aggressive.' He was that tonight.
"We're not satisfied. This is a long series. This is one step in a very long series. There's a lot of things we can do better."
Conley announced the birth of his son, Elijah Michael Conley, on social media late Sunday. The Jazz are in communication with him regarding his status moving forward.
In accordance with the NBA's covid-19 policies, Conley is subject to a quarantine of at least four days when he returns to the bubble. He could miss at least the first two games of the series.
RAPTORS 134, NETS 110
Fred VanVleet scored 30 points and led Toronto's sizzling three-point attack as the defending NBA champion Raptors routed Brooklyn in the opening game of their first-round playoff series.
VanVleet went 8 of 10 from three-point range, and the Raptors shot 22 of 44 from beyond the arc as a team. VanVleet also had 11 assists with only one turnover, becoming the first Raptor in franchise history to combine 30-plus points and 10-plus assists in a playoff game.
Toronto's accuracy from beyond the arc helped the Raptors grab a 68-35 lead with less than five minutes left in the first half. Brooklyn got that margin all the way down to eight late in the third quarter, but the Raptors regained control and won convincingly.
Serge Ibaka scored 22 points off the bench for the Raptors. Pascal Siakam had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Kyle Lowry had 16 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists with no turnovers.
Brooklyn's Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 26 to match a career-high. Joe Harris scored 19. Caris LeVert had 15 points and 15 assists, while Jarrett Allen collected 15 points and 12 rebounds.
CELTICS 109, SIXERS 101
Jayson Tatum had career playoff highs of 32 points and 13 rebounds, and Boston beat Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
Jaylen Brown scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter. Kemba Walker added 19 points for the Celtics.
Joel Embiid had 26 points and 16 rebounds, and Josh Richardson and Alec Burks each added 18 points for the 76ers.
Tatum scored 15 points in the second quarter to give the Celtics a 55-49 lead at halftime.
The 76ers went on a 15-0 run late in the third quarter to take an 81-75 lead, and Philadelphia led 85-81 heading into the fourth.