The Denver Nuggets used a dominant fourth quarter to come back against the Los Angeles Lakers and win Game 2, 108-103.
Denver is now in the driver’s seat, having won the first two games of this series that determines one of two teams competing for the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the NBA Finals. Two more wins and they would reach their first NBA Finals in franchise history.
The Nuggets went on a 20-5 run to start the fourth quarter, increasing their lead to 12 when trailing for much of this meeting. Los Angeles held its lead by as much as 11 at one point, but the failure to match the Nuggets’ runs wiped out that double-digit lead.
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A big reason the Nuggets came back was because Jamal Murray found his shot after scoring just 10 points in the first half. He finished the game with 37 points on 11-of-24 shooting, including 6-of-14 from three and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. He hit clutch free throws as the Lakers went into desperate mode with less than a minute to play.
On the other hand, LeBron James and Anthony Davis couldn’t get their jumpers to drop. Davis was just 4-of-15 from the field, though his 9-of-11 line from the charity line got him to 18 points on the night. He also had 14 rebounds for a double-double.
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James kept trying to knock one down from beyond the arc, but finished the game 0-for-6 from three. He finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists while narrowly missing a triple-double.
He also appeared to sprain his ankle late in the fourth quarter when he stepped on Davis’ foot looking for a rebound.
Austin Reaves was able to hit a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game while James was on the court at the other end, but he would end up fighting through pain to end the game.
Murray ended up making two free throws to get the Nuggets’ lead back to four, and Davis missed a good look from three that would have made it a point with 40 seconds left.
Instead, Murray hit multiple free throws to secure another home court win.
Nikola Jokic, of course, played a huge role in Denver’s victory, but he never scored a basket in the fourth quarter. He had another triple-double, making it four in a row since Game 5 of his series with the Phoenix Suns, with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists, along with a total of three steals.
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Michael Porter Jr. also had 16 points with seven boards and three assists, while Bruce Brown played a fantastic game off the bench with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block.
For the Lakers, Reaves finished with 22 points, while Rui Hachimura was very efficient off the bench with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field.
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The Lakers head home looking for the first win of the series as Game 3 kicks off from Crypto.com Arena on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.