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Lakers vs Nuggets - Game 3 - Western Conference Finals Summary
In an electrifying showdown in Los Angeles, the Denver Nuggets overcame adversities to edge closer to their first NBA Finals appearance with a 119-108 victory over the Lakers in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. The Nuggets' star duo, Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, orchestrated the team's victory, scoring 37 and 24 points respectively, despite Jokic dealing with foul trouble and Murray cooling off after a scorching first half.
Denver initially built a 14-point lead, which the Lakers clawed back to erase entirely in the fourth quarter, fueled by their passionate home crowd. However, the Nuggets responded with a decisive 13-0 run, snapping the Lakers' nine-game home winning streak and pushing them to a 3-0 lead in the serie.
For the Lakers, Anthony Davis led with 28 points and 18 rebounds. LeBron James, despite a sprained left ankle, added 23 points, 12 assists, and seven rebounds. Yet, their efforts fell short against the balanced attack of the Nuggets. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, against his former team, and Bruce Brown also played pivotal roles, scoring 17 and 15 points respectively, with Brown hitting a crucial 3-pointer down the stretch.
Rui Hachimura provided a spark for the Lakers, scoring 13 points and giving the Lakers their first lead since the game's opening minutes with a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter. However, the Nuggets quickly regained control, highlighted by Brown's 3-pointer and subsequent taunting of the Lakers' bench with their own "Freeze" 3-point celebration.
Yet, not all Lakers performed to expectations. D'Angelo Russell, a significant addition at the trade deadline, continued his rough series with just three points on 1-of-8 shooting, tallying just 21 points in the series so far.
Despite the Lakers' desperate attempts to get back in the series, no team in NBA history has rallied from a 3-0 playoff series deficit. As they face a challenging task ahead, James remains hopeful: "It's time to go right back home and start to refuel and start the treatment process and recovery process and get ready for Monday. My mindset is always locked in. As for the Nuggets, they stand just one win away from their first NBA Finals, a fitting testament to their five consecutive playoff wins.