Saturday, June 22, 2024
ScoreBig - Get Tickets for Less

NBA Playoffs Western Conference Finals Game 3 Preview: Denver Nuggets (2-0) at Los Angeles Lakers (0-2)

Two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic is enjoying an historic postseason but teammate Jamal Murray can be cited as the prime reason why the Denver Nuggets are just two victories away from reaching the NBA Finals for the first time.

The Nuggets can move closer to the elusive milestone on Saturday night when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.

Murray’s explosive fourth-quarter performance fueled Thursday’s 108-103 win to give Denver a 2-0 edge in the best-of-seven series.

He poured in 23 of Denver’s 32 fourth-quarter points on 6-of-7 shooting, including four 3-pointers, as the Nuggets held off the Lakers. Murray finished with a game-high 37 points.

The game wasn’t going Murray’s way over the first three quarters as he made just five of 17 shots and Denver trailed by three points entering the final period.

Murray is averaging 34 points in the series. He scored 31 in Denver’s 132-126 victory in Game 1.

After Game 2, he said the subpar shooting over the first three quarters wasn’t even a burden.

Jokic contributed 23 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists for his seventh triple-double of this postseason and his 13th in his playoff career. Only Magic Johnson (30) and LeBron James (28) have more.

One thing not sitting well with the Nuggets is that the plight of the seventh-seeded Lakers remains the national narrative — not the top-seeded team that has beaten them twice so far.

Los Angeles certainly has a lot of adjustments to make if it plans to make a run in the series.

And in the eyes of LeBron James, Game 3 must result in a Lakers victory.

“We still got to play with the same desperation as we did (Thursday),” James said. “We came out with an ‘L’ but (it) doesn’t give us any more comfort. We can’t go into any postseason game with comfort, just because you either haven’t lost at home or you’re going back home. I think it’s even more you got to be on edge because when you go home, you get in your own bed, get around your family, everybody’s being cool and jolly and everything.

James twisted an ankle late in Game 2 but insists the ailment is minor and that he will play Saturday.

James scored 22 points in Game 2 but missed all six of his 3-point attempts. Anthony Davis had just 18 points in Game 2. shooting 4-for-15, after pouring in 40 in Game 1.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham still views the series as winnable because his club is undefeated at home in the postseason at 6-0.

Austin Reaves (22.5 points per game) and Rui Hachimura (19.0) are playing well for Los Angeles in the series.

123 Auto Parts

Related Articles

Sports Gaming Digest Sports Magazine

Latest Articles

Cellucor C4 X Skittles