Date & Time: Thursday, September 24th, 9 PM ET (Friday, 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, FL
The Denver Nuggets showed their resilience in Game 3 and dominated the first three quarters to open their account in the Western Conference Finals. The LA Lakers almost mounted a 20-point comeback late in the fourth as well so they too have a few positives to take.
LA Lakers Preview
The LA Lakers played brilliant defense in the final quarter of the game to force nine turnovers and reduce a 20-point deficit to just three. However, the lack of energy early on in the game was really the undoing of the Purple and Gold who lost the rebounding battle 25-44 on the night.
LeBron James became the first player to record multiple 30-point triple-doubles in the same postseason for the LA Lakers but he continues to lack the aggression offensively down the stretch. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continues to play a key 3-and-D role but it's about time that Danny Green turns up too against the Denver Nuggets.
Key Player - Anthony Davis
After knocking down the game-winner on Sunday, Anthony Davis was made to pay inside the paint in Game 3 by Nikola Jokic who played with serious aggression. AD still managed 27 points on Tuesday but had a mediocre showing on the glass and couldn't manage to grab a rebound before the fourth quarter. That cannot be repeated if the LA Lakers are to come up trumps in this series.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
LeBron James, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee
Denver Nuggets Preview
The Denver Nuggets showed how desperate they were to win Game 3 just by the aggression that they played with. Denver did get complacent late in the fourth and it almost cost them the game, but Jamal Murray has continually come up clutch for them this postseason and he saved the day yet again.
The adjustments that Nikola Jokic has made are all the more impressive considering that he was bullied by Dwight Howard in the series opener. Jerami Grant proved his mettle with 26 points and also did well while guarding both LeBron and AD. Monte Morris continues to be reliable for the Denver Nuggets off the bench.
Key Player - Jamal Murray
Jamal Murray has evolved into a complete player in the playoffs. He knocked down the dagger yet again in Game 3 but his 12 assists also suggest that he's a much better playmaker than most consider him to be. He's also played some terrific defense against the LA Lakers. However, he did give away costly turnovers in the fourth on Sunday so that's still an area that can be worked upon.
Denver Nuggets Predicted Lineup
Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Jerami Grant, Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic
Lakers vs Nuggets Prediction
The LA Lakers lacked their usual effort for the majority of the game, but when they did switch on the afterburners late in the fourth, they showcased exactly what they're capable of. This is also worrisome for Denver Nuggets because they're showing the tendency to leak points for long stretches when not playing at their best. This would give LA Lakers enough confidence to play with renewed vigor in Game 4 to eke out a win against Denver Nuggets.
Where to watch Lakers vs Nuggets?
Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals will be available on TNT. Fans in India can tune in to Sony Six. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.
Published 23 Sep 2020, 10:27 IST