Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) shoots over Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) in the fourth quarter Monday during Game 2 of the NBA playoffs at Ball Arena. [Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports]

Nuggets Erase 20-Point Deficit Behind Murray Buzzer-Beater

The Denver crowd held its breath as Jamal Murray faded away from the basket for the last shot of Monday’s Game 2.

Murray fell into the Nugget’s bench as his 15-foot step-back shot ended the night for Lebron James and the Lakers.

The Ball Arena exploded as teammates mobbed Murray, celebrating Denver’s 20-point comeback for a 101-99 win and a commanding 2-0 lead in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. 

Tale of Two Halves

One shot could never tell the story of Game 2, a contest the Lakers led for 45 of 48 minutes on the court.

Although Nikola Jokic had a double-double in the first quarter, Los Angeles rode a hot start from beyond the arc along with a dominant Anthony Davis performance to build an early lead.

With 18 first-half points from D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers went into the halftime break up 59-44.

With an advantage that reached up to 20 points in favor of the Lakers during the third quarter, the Nuggets seemed down and out for most of the game.

Champions Find a Way

As the Lakers’ shooting cooled off in the final period, Jamal Murray finally began to find his rhythm.

Murray missed 13 of his first 16 shots, but never slowed down his attempts, making a series of shots to cut the Lakers’ lead to single digits.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone emphasized how Murray and the rest of the Denver squad had no plan of giving up on the game.

Although Lebron swished back-to-back 3-pointers to keep L.A.’s lead at 89-81, momentum had already swung in Denver’s favor.

Murray and James traded baskets in the final two minutes, until Lebron missed a 24-foot shot that gave Denver the final possession.

Murray took Anthony Davis off the dribble and stepped back to shoot over the Lakers’ star, and the rest is history.

Denver 101, Los Angeles 99.

Back to L.A.

The Lakers have dropped 10 straight meetings with the Nuggets stretching back to last year’s playoffs.

Game 3 will tip off at 10 p.m. (TNT) Thursday at Arena in Los Angeles, with the Lakers looking to avoid a near-insurmountable 3-0 deficit and another potential sweep at the hands of last year’s NBA Champions.

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