The Denver Nuggets lost a 14-point lead but recovered just in time to stun the LA Lakers in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. Denver, behind Jamal Murray, opened the game like a house on fire.
“Glitch” dropped 17 first-quarter points two nights after scoring 23 in the final period of Game 2. He pushed the Nuggets to a 32-20 lead after the first 12 minutes of the game.
The Lakers stepped up big in the second quarter to trail 58-55 entering the halftime break. Anthony Davis and LeBron James found their groove to bring the home team back into the game.
LA eventually regained the lead after Rui Hachimura’s 3-pointer with 10:59 left in the game. Jokic, who scored 24 points, started to take over in the crucial minutes of the fourth quarter. He and Bruce Brown repeatedly made the right plays that kept the Lakers on their heels.
Jeff Green’s corner triple with 7:25 in the fourth quarter gave the Nuggets a 96-94 lead. Brown, Jokic, Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray all made 3-pointers to give the Nuggets a brutal finishing kick.
No NBA team has ever bounced from a 3-0 hole. The LA Lakers will attempt to accomplish something which hasn’t been done before starting on Monday.
Where to watch
Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals between the Denver Nuggets and LA Lakers will start at 8:30 p.m. ET at Crypto.com Arena. ESPN will air the game on national TV.
Basketball fans can also catch the action by streaming the game via the NBA League Pass.
Nikola Jokic didn’t put up his usual mind-boggling numbers in Game 3 and yet the Denver Nuggets still won. Jamal Murray cooled off in the second half and still, the LA Lakers couldn’t overcome the visiting team.
The Nuggets showed that they have players who are not scared of the bright lights. Bruce Brown, Michael Porter Jr. and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope showed up when Denver needed the supporting cast to carry the team.
The Lakers arguably played their best game of the series and still lost. Even LeBron James, who has been terrible from behind the arc, started making three-pointers.
Anthony Davis dominated inside while Austin Reaves was his usual steady self. Despite all of that, they still fell short.
The LA Lakers know they have to play near-perfect basketball to beat the Denver Nuggets. With their season on the line, the Lakers have no choice but to give it their best shot.
Spread: Lakers (-3.5)
Total (O/U): 224.5
Moneyline: Nuggets (+120) vs. Lakers (-167)
The LA Lakers will come out and play their best 48 minutes of basketball this season. With their season hanging by a thread, LeBron James and Anthony Davis will do just enough to help them overcome the Denver Nuggets.
LA Lakers 125, Denver Nuggets 120