Denver Nuggets didn’t let the heartbreaking loss in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals get to them. Instead, they bounced back on Tuesday night with a dominant performance in a 106-114 win over Los Angeles Lakers in crucial Game 3.
Nuggets took control of the game from the very start, finishing the first quarter with a 27-29 lead. Denver then kept building the lead in the next two quarters, amassing a 20-point cushion entering the final period. But it turned out Lakers were not going to let them get an easy win.
Lakers rallied in the fourth quarter and came close to staging an impressive comeback by almost completely erasing Nuggets’ lead with five minutes left in the contest. However, Denver held their ground, and thanks to crucial points by Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, managed to weather the storm.
“Everybody always has us packing our bags and leaving, but we’re not ready to go,” said Denver’s head coach Michael Malone. “For some reason, we love this bubble.”
Murray finished the game with 28 points, eight rebounds, and 12 assists while Jokic had 26 points and 10 rebounds. Forward Jerami Grant added 26 points.
“Maybe they can beat us by 20, 30, they can beat us by a last shot, but we just cannot quit,” said Jokic after the game. “Effort needs to be there.”
Lakers, on the other hand, were led by LeBron James, who had a triple-double with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. Anthony Davis followed with 27 points.