Point guard Jamal Murray returned to Denver Nuggets lineup after missing 7 games with knee injury

DENVER (AP) — Point guard Jamal Murray returned to the Denver Nuggets’ lineup Saturday night after missing seven games with a strained right knee.

Murray was in the starting lineup against the Atlanta Hawks for his first appearance since getting hurt on March 21 in a game against the New York Knicks.

Just as Murray returned, starter Aaron Gordon sat out with a sore right foot.

The defending NBA champions went 4-3 in Murray’s absence as the Nuggets’ bench has been a major concern during that time. In their 102-100 loss to the Clippers on Thursday night, Denver’s reserves made just three baskets and were outscored by L.A.’s reserves 34-9.

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Denver entered their game against Atlanta tied atop the Western Conference playoff race with the Minnesota Timberwolves at 53-24, one game ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Wolves and Nuggets face each other on April 10 in Denver in a game that could decide the top seed in the West.

Murray is averaging 20.9 points and 6.7 rebounds this season.

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