Nuggets defeat the Lakers in the fourth quarter to win Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals
The Denver Nuggets used a dominant fourth quarter to bounce back against the Los Angeles Lakers to win Game 2 108-103.
Denver is now calling the shots after winning the first two games of this series that will determine one of the two teams battling for the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the NBA Finals. Two more wins and they would reach their first NBA Finals in franchise history.
The Nuggets put on a 20-5 run early in the fourth quarter, extending their lead to 12 as they trailed for much of this contest. Los Angeles had temporarily stretched their lead to 11, but when the Nuggets couldn’t keep up, that double-digit lead was wiped out.
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A big reason the Nuggets came back was because Jamal Murray found his shooting attack after scoring just 10 points in the first half. He finished the game with 37 points on 11-for-24 shots, including 6 of 14 from three throws and 9 of 10 from the free throw line. He was hitting free throws as the Lakers went into desperation mode with less than a minute left in the game.
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, although his 9 of 11 line from the charity jersey resulted in 18 points that night. He also had 14 rebounds for a double-double.
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James kept trying to get a shot from distance but he finished the game with 0 of 6 from three strikes. He finished the game with 22 points, nine rebounds and ten assists while narrowly missing a triple-double.
He also seemed to twist his ankle late in the fourth quarter when he stepped on Davis’ foot on a rebound.
Austin Reaves was able to hit a three-pointer to reduce the game to two points while James was down at the other end, but ended up fighting pain to end the game.
Murray ended up throwing two free throws to cut the Nuggets’ lead back to four, and Davis missed a good shot from three free throws that would have resulted in a one-point game with 40 seconds remaining.
Instead, Murray scored several free throws to secure another home win.
Nikola Jokic, of course, played a big part in Denver’s win, but he never netted in the fourth quarter. He had another triple-double, the fourth straight, dating back to Game 5 of their streak with the Phoenix Suns, with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists and three steals total.
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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, a steal and a block.
For the Lakers, Reaves ended up taking 22 points while Rui Hachimura was extremely efficient off the bench with 21 points on 8-of-10 from the field.
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The Lakers are heading home and seeking their first win of the series as Game 3 begins Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at Crypto.com Arena