Led by their dynamic duo of point guard Jamal Murray (28 points and 12 assists) and center Nikola Jokic (22 points and 10 rebounds), the Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 114-106 to avoid a three-game deficit in the Western Conference Finals.
Nuggets avoid three-game deficit
The first quarter was back-and-forth and ended with Denver up 29-27. The Nuggets came out on a tear in the second quarter, going on a 15-3 run to begin the quarter. The first half ended with Denver in control, up 63-53.
Coming out of the locker room, the Nuggets appeared to be in total control. They jumped out to a 20-point lead late in the third quarter. However, the Lakers came storming back with a fourth-quarter surge, cutting the Denver lead to just three with 5:26 remaining.
The game remained tight the next few minutes. Murray then hit what would prove to be the dagger with 2:26 remaining. Shooting over Laker guard Alex Caruso, Murray knocked down a stepback three-pointer to increase the Nugget lead to 106-99 with just 2:26 remaining.
The Lakers were not able to get any closer than seven, as that three by Murray sparked a closing run by the Nuggets.
Murray wasn’t done after the first three either. For good measure, he drilled a three-pointer over Los Angeles’ All-Star center Anthony Davis to increase the Denver lead to 12.
A few garbage time buckets for the Lakers cut the Nuggets lead to eight by the time the clocks hit 0:00.
This was a big win for the Nuggets to be able to avoid the three-game deficit. No team has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit before. Denver has played with their backs to the wall all postseason, coming back from a 3-1 series deficit in each of their two series so far.
Murray has been lights out all postseason, Tuesday being the latest installment. He is averaging 26.6 points per game while shooting 50.5% from the field and 47.5% from beyond the arc over 17 postseason games.
Postgame, Murray spoke on his team’s ability to bounce back from losses.
He also talked about where he thinks the Nuggets should be in the series, feeling as if they should have won game two.
As for LA, Davis believes the Lakers need to be better.
Denver will look to even the series Thursday at 9 p.m. The game will be broadcasted live on TNT and ESPN Radio.