Nuggets draw back late to take commanding 3-0 sequence lead over Lakers

Jamal Murray scored 37 factors, Nikola Jokic added 24 factors and eight assists, and the Denver Nuggets rolled to a 3-0 lead within the Western Convention finals with a 119-108 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night time.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 12 of his 17 factors within the second half towards his former workforce for the top-seeded Nuggets, who’ve by no means been this near the NBA Finals in 47 years within the league.

Denver blew a giant early lead in Sport 3, however made a decisive 13-0 run within the fourth quarter to snap the Lakers’ nine-game residence successful streak since March 26, together with seven straight victories for the reason that common season ended.

No workforce has rallied from a 3-0 playoff sequence deficit in NBA historical past. Sport 4 is Monday night time in Los Angeles.


Jamal Murray hyped

Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets reacts to a play in entrance of Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers throughout the second quarter in sport three of the Western Convention Finals at Area on Could 20, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: Consumer expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or utilizing this {photograph}, Consumer is consenting to the phrases and situations of the Getty Photographs License Settlement.  (Harry How/Getty Photographs)

Anthony Davis had 28 factors and 18 rebounds for the seventh-seeded Lakers, who hadn’t misplaced three straight video games since early February. Los Angeles’ extended, determined surge ever for the reason that commerce deadline has lastly run out of steam towards the powerhouse Nuggets, who’ve received 5 consecutive playoff video games.

LeBron James had 23 factors, 12 assists and 7 rebounds for Los Angeles, hitting three 3-pointers after beginning the sequence 0 for 13 from distance. Austin Reaves added 23 factors and 7 rebounds, however Rui Hachimura was the one different Lakers scorer to crack double figures with 13 factors.

Jokic’s streak of 4 consecutive triple-doubles resulted in a reasonably quiet sport for the two-time MVP. However Murray scored 17 factors in a dynamic first quarter following his 23-point fourth quarter two nights in the past, and he had 30 factors by halftime of Sport 3.

Bruce Brown scored 15 factors and hit a key 3-pointer down the stretch for the Nuggets earlier than Jokic all however iced it on a 3-pointer with 3:17 to play.

The Lakers’ passionate followers turned out in pressure for the 17-time champion franchise’s first convention finals video games at residence since 2010, the 12 months of their final title. Los Angeles tried desperately to get again within the sequence, with James taking part in 43 minutes after spraining his left ankle in Sport 2 on high of his already sore proper foot.

However the Nuggets’ flight to the coast didn’t cool off Murray within the slightest: After lighting up the Lakers to shut Sport 2, the Canadian guard made his first 5 photographs in Sport 3 and poured in 17 factors within the first quarter — even whereas Jokic went scoreless for the second straight quarter.

Mike Malone with Jokic and Murray

Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone, heart, shakes fingers with Denver Nuggets heart Nikola Jokic (15) and guard Jamal Murray (27) within the second half of Sport 3 of the NBA basketball Western Convention Last sequence towards the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday, Could 20, 2023, in Los Angeles.  (Alokito Mymensingh 24 Picture/Mark J. Terrill)


Murray’s fourth 3-pointer of the night time made him 11 of 13 from the sphere for 26 factors halfway via the second quarter, scoring greater than half of Denver’s factors at an unbelievable tempo. Reaves and Davis stored the Lakers in it, with Reaves racking up 15 factors, three assists and three rebounds within the second quarter alone.

Hachimura’s 3-pointer early within the fourth gave the Lakers their first lead for the reason that opening minutes, however the Nuggets took cost once more in a rally highlighted by Brown’s 3-pointer with 7:02 to play, after which he taunted the Lakers’ bench with Los Angeles’ personal “Freeze” 3-point celebration.

D’Angelo Russell had one other tough sport for the Lakers, scoring three factors on 1-of-8 capturing in 20 minutes. Russell was the Lakers’ greatest addition of their commerce deadline transformation, however the level guard has simply 21 factors on this three-game sequence.

Bruce brown three

Bruce Brown #11 of the Denver Nuggets celebrates after making a 3 level basket throughout the fourth quarter towards the Los Angeles Lakers in sport three of the Western Convention Finals at Area on Could 20, 2023, in Los Angeles, California.  (Harry How/Getty Photographs)

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Nuggets: Aaron Gordon had seven factors in 32 minutes. Michael Porter Jr. had 14 factors and 10 rebounds, capped by a 3-pointer within the ultimate 90 seconds.

Lakers: Backup C Mo Bamba missed his ninth consecutive sport with a sore left ankle. The workforce is hopeful Bamba can play in some unspecified time in the future on this sequence. Followers close to courtside included Jack Nicholson, Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington, Jake Gyllenhaal, Andy Garcia, Dyan Cannon, Ken Jeong, Joel McHale, LA Kings captain Anze Kopitar and defenseman Drew Doughty, and Khalil Mack, Derwin James and Sebastian Joseph-Day from the Los Angeles Chargers’ protection.

Peter Johnson