Lakers vs. Nuggets

Down 2-0 the Nuggets did what they do best and they took a game to get them back into the series making it 2-1. Denver somehow thrives in these situations already coming back from down 3-1 in two series.

The young Nuggets squad showed the experienced Lakers what they’ve been showing the rest of the NBA for the past two series. Jamal Murray had another explosive game putting up 28 points and 12 assists. This is nothing new to Murray considering Murray has been this explosive the entire playoff run.

Jokic tacked on an impressive 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. He did this while shooting 9-14 from the field in 37 minutes of action during the game. Not only was Jokic an important factor alongside Murray, an unexpected game from Jerami Grant helped lead the Nuggets past the Lakers. 

Grant had one of his best games this season putting up 26 points, 2 steals and 3 rebounds all while shooting 7-11 from the field and 10-12 from the free throw line. This wasn’t expected by many but it wasn’t completely random as Grant has shown flashes of potential throughout the entire season. 

On the other hand it was a pretty disappointing night for the Lakers. LeBron had his usual triple-double having 30 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. This isn’t anything different coming from LeBron but other than that the Lakers had their fair share of troubles. 

Anthony Davis didn’t play like the star we’ve all grown accustomed to throughout the playoffs. He did have a solid 27 points but after that it goes downhill for him. Davis also only tallied 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal along with 3 turnovers. It was a rough night for Davis outside the scoring department. 

Davis isn’t the only Laker to blame though. Starting center Javale McGee wasn’t very productive either. McGee had 4 points and 1 rebound. Similarly backup center Dwight Howard had an almost identical statline as he too put up 4 points and 1 rebound however Howard played 14 minutes while McGee only played 8. 

The Lakers lack of production from their big men really showed in the game stats. The Lakers had 25 rebounds throughout the course of the game and the Nuggets had 44 rebounds. The Nuggets dominated the glass and outrebounded the Lakers by 19 total rebounds. 

The Lakers however tried to rally a comeback in the fourth quarter putting up 31 points to the Nuggets 10. Lakers star LeBron James came out and said, “We played some pretty good ball in the fourth quarter, but those first 36 minutes, that hurt us obviously,” according to ESPN. 

On the other hand this was a boost of confidence for this young Nuggets squad that has found themselves in this position quite a bit in these playoffs. Nuggets coach Mike Malone was quoted as saying, “Everybody always has us packing our bags and leaving, but we’re not ready to go, for some reason we love this bubble,” according to ESPN. This has been seen throughout the playoffs that whenever someone is counting the Nuggets out they somehow create enough momentum to come back and win the series no matter how much they are down. 

It will be interesting to see whether or not the Nuggets can come back from the deficit they face, as mentioned before, they have come back from two 3-1 deficits in this postseason but the question is will they be able to do it against one of the greatest to play the game and a hungry Lakers squad.