Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets Game 3


If the Nuggets tie this series at 2-2, the Lakers should have genuine cause for concern.

Jamal Murray turned Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday into a personal highlight reel.

- Anthony Davis leads the Lakers with a game-high 16 points, while LeBron is setting up another playoff triple-double with 10 points, eight assists, and four rebounds.

Eight third-quarter points from Rajon Rondo and seven from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope helped the Lakers hang onto their lead after three, but the Nuggets cut their deficit to three with 12 minutes to play. This series is beautifully poised ahead of Thursday's matchup.

Los Angeles is still the favorite to take the series and have won its previous series in five games.

"He just loves the challenges, especially late game" James' All-Star teammate Anthony Davis said about the 17-year veteran picking up Murray late.

The Lakers and Nuggets next face off in Game 4 Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET.

Howard had a one-step forward, one-step back kind of game Tuesday, the lowest moment coming when he got a technical foul for flinging the ball off the court after being called for a foul.

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Murray said that James' presence was just another purple and gold uniform to him. James was able to score easily on several other Denver players - having Grant at least slow him down set the foundations for a solid team defensive performance.

Anthony Davis went 9-for-10 Tuesday, while the rest of the team was a collective 5-for-12. Their opponents have averaged 102.7 points on 41.3% shooting.

- Nuggets starters: Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Jerami Grant, Paul Millsap, and Nikola Jokic. By the halfway mark of the fourth, it was a close game once again. Denver's offensive rhythm was upset by this clever switch-up from Frank Vogel. LA earned the top overall spot in the Western Conference, pushing their way toward a deep postseason run.

Denver's Game 3 win was not an elimination situation but it might as well have been. Twice late in the fourth, Murray tried to attack.

Resilience to overturn leads and series deficits is one thing.

- The Nuggets can't find a way through the Lakers' zone defence as they continue to rack up the turnovers.

- A back and forth opening quarter to start Game 3 as the Nuggets take a two-point lead into the break. Regardless of how Game 4 unfolds, the Nuggets will be a tough out to move toward the NBA Finals. After a dunk by James, Murray made a 3-pointer and Monte Morris scored the next five to make it a 15-2 start to the period and give the Nuggets a 44-29 advantage. Moneyline bettors are on Denver as well, to the tune of 81 percent of bets and 69 percent of dollars.