Nuggets defense, Jamaal Murray stifled late on a Lakers offense in Game 2


Much has been said about Los Angeles LakersDefense is in this playoffs, and rightfully so. But the Denver Nuggets They showed Thursday night that they have some D in their DNA, too.

Despite trailing by as many as 11, the Nuggets maintained their playoff record at home, and took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals. The Lakers led by three in the fourth quarter, but a combination of Jamal Murray Blazing fire and the Nuggets contested nearly every shot in Los Angeles, providing Denver with a 32-24 advantage over the final 12 minutes. Bruce Brown strip the ball from LeBron James As he raced down the field in the closing seconds it was an apt remark.

“We pride ourselves on our defense in the fourth quarter,” he said. Michael Porter Jr He said.

Murray, after struggling through the first three quarters, scored three big after another late on to finish with 37 points. Murray missed seven of his first nine three seconds but made four of five in the fourth quarter.

Stats to know: James was 0-for-6 from 3-point range, including 0-for-4 in the second half.

Play the game: 3-pointer for Murray with 9:21 left in the fourth quarter and Nikola Jokic resting on the bench, giving Denver its first lead, 84-83, since the first quarter.

Next for the nuggets: The Nuggets were up 2-0 vs Phoenix Suns He returned to Denver with the series hooked up. Coach Mike Malone suggested his team forgot to pack up their defense during the drive. Playing as high a level of defense as they did in Game 2 will be key to giving themselves a chance in LA.

Next Lakers: The two biggest stars on the team, James W Anthony DavisAnd it was disappointing. Davis missed 11 of his 15 shots to quietly score 18 points and James ran the ball out of bounds on a breakaway attempt and blocked a layup in the final minutes. They should be bigger factors in the third game. bright spot: Roy Hashimura Made eight of 10 for 21 points.

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Rick Bucher is an NBA writer for FOX Sports. He has previously written for Bleacher Report, ESPN The Magazine, and The Washington Post and has written two books, “Rebound,” about NBA forward Brian Grant’s battle with the onset of Parkinson’s disease, and “Yao: A Life in Two Worlds.” He also has a daily podcast, “On The Ball with Ric Bucher”. Follow him on Twitter @Rick Bucher.

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