Nuggets survive Lakers comeback in much-needed Game 3 win

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images /

The Denver Nuggets struck back with a much-needed win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 3.

After their Game 2 comeback fell short at the hands of an Anthony Davis buzzer-beater, the Denver Nuggets easily could’ve fallen apart in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.

And yet, facing a 2-0 deficit against the mighty Los Angeles Lakers, these resilient Nuggets offered up yet another impressive effort in fulfilling their underdog role Tuesday night, beating the top seed in the Western Conference to put the series at 2-1.

Led by Jamal Murray’s 28 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds, along with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists from Nikola Jokic and a playoff career-high 26 points from Jerami Grant on 7-of-11 shooting, the Nuggets steamrolled the Lakers for most of Game 3, leading by 10 points at halftime and going ahead by 18 heading into the fourth quarter. However, the Nuggets had to overcome a last-minute comeback attempt by the best team in the West to earn this much-needed victory.

Denver finally got some help from its supporting cast, as Grant, Monte Morris (14 points) and Michael Porter Jr. (9 points) all chipped in to support their two star scorers.

Los Angeles was led by 27 points from Anthony Davis and a 30-point, 11-assist, 10-rebound triple-double from LeBron James, who was relatively quiet despite his final box score numbers.

73. Final. 106. 20. 114

What else did you miss from Game 3 between the Nuggets and Lakers?

Though the Lakers ended the first half on a 16-8 run and extended their scoring spree to 21-8 in the third quarter to pull within five points, the Nuggets held strong until the fourth quarter arrived. Los Angeles opened the final frame on a massive 18-2 run to pull within four points with 6:30 left in the game.

After committing turnovers on six straight possessions, the pressure was officially on the Nuggets to outlast them if they wanted their first win in the series.

With the Lakers trailing by four and Denver in desperate need of a bucket, Jamal Murray hit an absurd step-back 3 in Alex Caruso’s mug to extend the lead to seven.

After an offensive foul on Rajon Rondo, Murray probed the Lakers defense on the next possession and found Paul Millsap for a dunk under the basket, effectively ending Game 3 and ensuring the Western Conference Finals were not over just yet.

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