The Denver Nuggets used a dominant fourth quarter to come back against the Los Angeles Lakers and take Game 2, 108-103.
Denver is now in the driver’s seat, having won the first two games of this series that determine one of the two teams vying for the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the NBA Finals. Two more wins and they’d reach their first NBA Finals in franchise history.
The Nuggets went on a 20-5 run to start the fourth quarter, getting their lead up to 12 when they trailed for much of this contest. Los Angeles had their lead up to 11 at one point, but failure to match the Nuggets’ runs had that double-digit lead erased.
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A large reason why the Nuggets came back was due to Jamal Murray finding his shooting stroke after scoring just 10 points in the first half. He finished the game with 37 points on 11-for-24 shooting, including 6-of-14 from three and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. He hit clutch free throws as the Lakers entered desperation mode with under a minute to play.
On the other hand, LeBron James and Anthony Davis couldn’t get their jump shots to fall. Davis was just 4-of-15 from the field, though his 9-for-11 line from the charity stripe led to 18 points on the night. He also had 14 rebounds for a double-double.
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James kept trying to knock one down from beyond the arc, but he ended the game 0-of-6 from three. He finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists as he just missed a triple-double.
He also appeared to roll his ankle late in the fourth quarter when he stepped on Davis’s foot going for a rebound.
Austin Reaves was able to bank home a three-pointer to make it a two-point game while James was on the floor on the other end, but he would end up fighting through pain to finish the game.
Murray ended up knocking in two free throws to get the Nuggets’ lead back to four, and Davis missed a good look from three which would’ve made it a one-point game with 40 seconds left to play.
Instead, Murray hit multiple free throws to lock in another win on home court.
Nikola Jokic, of course, played a huge role in Denver’s victory, but he never scored a fourth quarter basket. He had yet another triple-double, making it four in a row dating back to Game 5 of their series with the Phoenix Suns, with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists, while totaling three steals as well.
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Michael Porter Jr. also had 16 points with seven boards and three assists, while Bruce Brown played a fantastic game off the bench with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block.
For the Lakers, Reaves ended up with 22 points, while Rui Hachimura was highly efficient off the bench with 21 points on 8-of-10 from the field.
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The Lakers head home searching for that first win of the series, as Game 3 tips off from Crypto.com Arena on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.