The Nuggets put the Lakers in the 0-2 hole in the Western Conference Finals with a 108-103 victory, as Denver’s Jamal Murray overtakes LeBron James in fourth and Nikola Jokic completes a triple-double
- Jamal Murray flipped a switch after a poor first quarter for the Nuggets
- And on the other side, Lebron James only scored six points in the last period
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
The Nuggets came alive in the fourth quarter on Thursday to take a 2-0 lead over the Lakers, winning 108-103 behind a late push from Jamal Murray.
The Canadian guard was just 5-17 from the pack going into the fourth quarter and Denver was trailing by three at the start of that period.
But Murray, the team’s second top scorer behind Nikola Jokic this season, finally came to life in the final frame and scored 23 points in the final 12 minutes as LA’s attack bogged down.
Along with dealing with an ear infection, Murray continues to push back his ACL tear from 2021, which caused him to miss all of last season and bleed this year as he started the season slowly.
‘I’ve seen the dark days return from this ACL [injury]Nuggets coach Michael Malone said after the game.
Jamal Murray scored 23 points in the fourth quarter as Denver took a 2-0 lead
LeBron James scored 22 points in the loss, but had just six points in a quiet fourth quarter
Nikola Jokic finishes on a shot from Anthony Davis, who shot just 4-15 on the night in Denver
“So for him to be here playing at the level he’s playing, I’m so happy for the man, the young man.”
Jokic also helped Denver’s cause with another playoff triple-double, as he had 23 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham has reinstated forward Jarred Vanderbilt into the starting lineup after starting Dennis Schroeder in Game 1, as LA continues to try to throw Jokic out of the game with different looks.
But Vanderbilt only played 17 minutes as the two-time MVP put in another solid performance.
“The Joker is just one of those guys, you gotta change the matchups, you gotta change the covers,” Ham said.
‘He’s going to make you work, he’s going to put you in your bag of tricks to slow him down.’
Michael Porter Jr. added 16 points for the Nuggets with seven rebounds
NFL legend and former Denver Bronco Peyton Manning attended the game at his former home
The Lakers led up to 11 points but only scored 24 points in the fourth quarter, and now face a must-see virtual Game 3 at home on Saturday.
LeBron James scored 22 in the loss – with just six in the fourth quarter – and Anthony Davis scored 18 while Austin Reaves added 22.
Rui Hachimura also had 21 points off the bench.
But it wasn’t an effective night for Davis, who shot 4-15 from the field and had four turnovers in an effort he’ll want to forget.
“Overall the energy was there, the effort was there…we just took a bad stretch,” Ham said.
James also had three turnovers in the contest.