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story.lead_photo.caption Denver’s Nikola Jokic (15) goes up for a shot in front of Utah’s Rudy Gobert on Tuesday during the Nuggets’ 80-78 victory over the Jazz in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
(AP/Mark J. Terrill)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Jamal Murray helped a heartbroken Donovan Mitchell off the floor for a handshake and hug, a show of respect between players who had a memorable battle in the bubble.

They traded historic offensive fireworks for six games, before Game 7 turned into an old-fashioned defensive struggle.

"It was a great battle. I don't know what else to say. I'm speechless," Murray said.

The ending left everyone out of words.

Nikola Jokic made the tiebreaking basket with 27 seconds left, and the Nuggets advanced to the second round of the playoffs by beating the Utah Jazz 80-78 on Tuesday night when Mike Conley's three-pointer spun out at the buzzer.

The Nuggets became the 12th team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a series, but only after they blew a 19-point lead in this game.

"A lot of teams would have just given in, especially when you consider we've been here 57 days away from our families," Nuggets Coach Michael Malone said.

After Jokic's basket, the Jazz got the ball to Mitchell after a timeout. The Nuggets stole it from him and raced down for a fast break, but Torrey Craig missed the layup with about five seconds left. Utah rebounded and pushed the ball up the floor to Conley, whose jumper looked good all the way until it fell out.

"It looked good, man. Sometimes, it's just the way it works," said Mitchell, who raised his arms in the air as Conley's shot was in the air, only to collapse to the floor after it missed. "We fought hard and came back. I'd go to war with any one of these guys in the locker room, any one of these coaches.

"We could've easy chalked it up in the first half. We have grit and fight. That's all you can really ask for."

Jokic had 30 points and 14 rebounds, and Murray scored 17 points. No. 3 seed Denver advanced to face the second-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference semifinals.

Mitchell scored 22 points, and Rudy Gobert finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds for the Jazz.

Denver controlled the first half and had a 19-point lead a minute into the third quarter. Mitchell then scored nine straight points before Conley hit a three-pointer that cut it to 55-48. The Jazz got it all the way down to 65-60 after Gobert converted a three-point play for the final points of the period.

Utah then got the first eight of the fourth, the final six by Gobert, to open a 68-65 lead.

"What I remember about tonight, we were dead in the water in the first half and weren't playing well in a lot of ways," Utah Coach Quin Snyder said. "Our group just kept grinding and kept competing. That to me is as significant as anything that happened in the game."

UTAH (78)

Ingles 3-10 0-0 7, O'Neale 2-6 0-0 5, Gobert 8-13 3-4 19, Conley 2-13 3-4 8, Mitchell 9-22 2-2 22, Morgan 0-2 1-4 1, Niang 2-4 0-0 6, Clarkson 4-9 1-1 10. Totals 30-79 10-15 78.

DENVER (80)

Grant 1-5 0-0 3, Millsap 1-1 0-0 2, Jokic 12-23 4-4 30, Morris 3-8 0-0 7, Murray 7-21 2-2 17, Craig 3-9 0-0 7, Porter Jr. 3-7 3-5 10, Plumlee 0-0 0-0 0, Harris 1-9 1-2 4. Totals 31-83 10-13 80.

Utah21152418--78

Denver26241515--80

3-Point Goals--Utah 8-34 (Niang 2-4, Mitchell 2-8, O'Neale 1-4, Clarkson 1-5, Ingles 1-5, Conley 1-6, Morgan 0-2), Denver 8-31 (Jokic 2-5, Grant 1-3, Porter Jr. 1-3, Morris 1-4, Craig 1-5, Harris 1-5, Murray 1-6). Fouled Out--None. Rebounds--Utah 48 (Gobert 18), Denver 46 (Jokic 14). Assists--Utah 16 (Conley 7), Denver 21 (Morris 5). Total Fouls--Utah 14, Denver 18.

CELTICS 102, RAPTORS 99

Jayson Tatum scored 34 points, Marcus Smart made five three-pointers in the fourth quarter and the Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 102-99 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series Monday night, putting the reigning NBA champions in serious trouble.

Smart scored 19 points, Kemba Walker had 17 and Jaylen Brown scored 16 for the Celtics, who now hold a 2-0 series lead. The Celtics are 3-0 against Toronto in the NBA's restart bubble at Walt Disney World, and 5-1 against the Raptors this season.

OG Anunoby had 20 points for Toronto, which got 19 from Fred VanVleet -- who missed a 28-footer as time expired. Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam scored 17 points apiece, and Kyle Lowry added 16 for Toronto.

Smart made 3 three-pointers on three consecutive possessions in a 73-second span early in the fourth, then added another three about a minute later -- and a four-point play a minute after that, putting Boston up 86-85 with 7:55 left.

It was part of a 29-9 run by Boston, with the Celtics going up 95-87 with 4:18 left.

The Raptors seemed like they had matters figured out late in the third quarter, taking a 12-point lead -- the momentum seeming like it had swung on an overturned call that, correctly, went Toronto's way. A layup by VanVleet gave Toronto a 78-66 lead with 2:46 left in the third.

The Raptors scored only nine points in the next 10:39. But just when things looked like they had gone totally awry, Toronto scored five straight to make it a 95-92 game with 3:35 left, and the Raptors got within one on a pair of free throws by Lowry with 1:01 remaining.

But Walker hit a stepback on the next Boston possession, and the Celtics held on from there.

BOSTON (102)

Brown 5-13 3-3 16, Tatum 8-17 14-14 34, Theis 1-5 0-0 3, Smart 6-13 1-1 19, Walker 6-18 4-5 17, Ojeleye 0-3 0-0 0, Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Williams III 5-5 1-2 11, Wanamaker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-76 23-25 102.

TORONTO (99)

Anunoby 7-12 2-3 20, Siakam 6-16 4-4 17, Gasol 2-4 2-2 6, Lowry 5-16 6-8 16, VanVleet 8-22 0-0 19, Boucher 0-1 0-0 0, Ibaka 7-12 0-0 17, Davis 0-2 0-0 0, Powell 1-5 2-2 4. Totals 36-90 16-19 99.

Boston28222032--102

Toronto28203021--99

3-Point Goals--Boston 15-38 (Smart 6-11, Tatum 4-7, Brown 3-8, Walker 1-8, Ojeleye 0-3), Toronto 11-40 (Anunoby 4-6, Ibaka 3-5, VanVleet 3-12, Siakam 1-4, Gasol 0-2, Powell 0-2, Lowry 0-7). Fouled Out--Boston None, Toronto 1 (Gasol). Rebounds--Boston 44 (Theis 9), Toronto 41 (Ibaka 9). Assists--Boston 18 (Tatum 6), Toronto 25 (Lowry, VanVleet 7). Total Fouls--Boston 20, Toronto 19.

Utah Jazz's Mike Conley, middle center, Royce O'Neale, bottom center, Jazz head coach Quin Snyder, center rear, and Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray, right, watch as Conley's shot rims out in the closing seconds of their NBA first round playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Utah Jazz's Mike Conley, middle center, Royce O'Neale, bottom center, Jazz head coach Quin Snyder, center rear, and Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray, right, watch as Conley's shot rims out in the closing seconds of their NBA first round playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell (45) defends as Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray (27) advances the ball down court during the second half an NBA first round playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell (45) defends as Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray (27) advances the ball down court during the second half an NBA first round playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray (27) keeps his arms in position as Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert (27) walks past after Gobert scored a basket and drew a foul on the play during the second half an NBA first round playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray (27) keeps his arms in position as Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert (27) walks past after Gobert scored a basket and drew a foul on the play during the second half an NBA first round playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Utah Jazz's Royce O'Neale (23) celebrates with Rudy Gobert, bottom left, as Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray (27) gestures following the foul call against his team after Gobert sunk a basket during the second half an NBA first round playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Utah Jazz's Royce O'Neale (23) celebrates with Rudy Gobert, bottom left, as Denver Nuggets' Jamal Murray (27) gestures following the foul call against his team after Gobert sunk a basket during the second half an NBA first round playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell (45) attempts a shot over Denver Nuggets' Gary Harris (14) as Jamal Murray, right, watches during the second half an NBA first round playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell (45) attempts a shot over Denver Nuggets' Gary Harris (14) as Jamal Murray, right, watches during the second half an NBA first round playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert (27) grabs a rebound in front of Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic (15) during the second half an NBA first round playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert (27) grabs a rebound in front of Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic (15) during the second half an NBA first round playoff basketball game, Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone walks onto the court during a time out in the second half an NBA first round playoff basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone walks onto the court during a time out in the second half an NBA first round playoff basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday, Sept. 1,2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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