Jamal Murray scored 37 points, Nikola Jokic He added 24 points and eight assists, and Denver Nuggets They rolled to a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals with a 119-108 win over the Western Conference Finals Los Angeles Lakers Saturday evening.
Kentavius Caldwell Pope He scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half against his former team with the top-ranked Nuggets, who have not been close to the NBA Finals in the league’s 47 years.
Denver lost an early lead in Game 3, but pulled off a decisive 13-0 run in the fourth quarter to snap the Lakers’ nine-game home winning streak since March 26, including seven straight wins since the end of the regular season.
No team has finished with a 3-0 playoff series deficit in NBA history. Game four is Monday night in Los Angeles.
Anthony Davis He had 28 points and 18 rebounds for the seventh-ranked Lakers, who haven’t lost three straight games since early February. Los Angeles’ prolonged desperate rally since the trade deadline has finally run out of steam against the powerhouse Nuggets, who have won five straight games.
LeBron James He had 23 points, 12 assists, and seven rebounds for Los Angeles, hitting three three-pointers after starting the series 0-for-13 from long range. Austin Reeves He added 23 points and seven rebounds, however Roy Hashimura He was the only other Lakers leading scorer to achieve a double-double with 13 points.
Jokic’s streak of four consecutive triple-doubles ended in a fairly uneventful two-time MVP matchup. But Murray scored 17 points in a dynamic first quarter after 23 in the fourth quarter two nights earlier, and had a career-high 30 points in the first half of Game 3.
Bruce Brown Scored 15 points and hit a 3-pointer on the Nuggets before Jokic nailed it on a 3-pointer with 3:17 to play.
Hardcore Lakers fans showed up strongly in the 17-time champion’s first Conference Finals at home since 2010, the year they captured their last title. Los Angeles desperately tried to get back into the series, with James playing 43 minutes after spraining his left ankle in Game 2 over his already sore right foot.
But the Nuggets’ trip to the coast didn’t calm Murray in the slightest: After lighting up the Lakers to shut out Game 2, the Canadian guard made his first five shots of Game 3 and scored 17 points in the first quarter — even as Jokic went scoreless for the second straight quarter.
Murray’s fourth 3-point game of the night made it 11-of-13 from the field for 26 points midway through the second quarter, scoring more than half of Denver’s points at an incredible pace. Reeves and Davis kept the Lakers at bay, as Reeves had 15 points, three assists, and three rebounds in the second quarter alone.
A Hashimura 3-pointer early in the fourth gave the Lakers their first lead since the opening minutes, but the Nuggets took the lead again on a rally highlighted by a Brown 3-pointer with 7:02 to play, after which the Lakers bench was taunted. Los Angeles Celebration of “The Freeze” 3-Point.
Angelo Russell He had another tough game for the Lakers, scoring three points from 1 of 8 in 20 minutes. Russell was the Lakers’ biggest addition in the trade deadline turnaround, but Russell has only 21 points in this three-game series.
Nuggets: Aaron Gordon Seven points in 32 minutes. … Michael Porter Jr He had 14 points and 10 rebounds, capping off a 3-pointer in the last 90 seconds.
Lakers: backup c Mo Bamba He missed his ninth straight game with a left ankle injury. The team hopes Bamba will be able to play at some point in this series. … Fans near the field included Jack Nicholson, Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington, Jake Gyllenhaal, Andy Garcia, Diane Cannon, Ken Jeong, Joel McHale, Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar, defensemen Drew Doughty, Khalil Mack and Derwin James, and Sebastian Joseph. -day of Los Angeles Chargersdefense.
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