Lakers tame Nuggets, take 3-1 lead

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Anthony Davis and LeBron James combined for 60 points as the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers seized control of their Western Conference finals series with a 114-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets yesterday.

James finished with 26 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists and Davis had 34 points as Lakers held on to beat the Nuggets and take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series in the NBA’s quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.

Game five is tomorrow. The Lakers have wrapped up both their previous series in five games.

Canadian forward Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with 32 points and eight assists, while Jerami Grant finished with 17 for Denver.

Serbia’s Nikola Jokic was held in check most of the game and finished with a disappointing 16 points. He missed all four field goal attempts in the fourth.

James took it upon himself to guard Murray with the game on the line.

“He’s is one of the hottest guys in the bubble,” said James. “He’s very shifty to guard. I just use my length and athleticism, high hand him and meet him at the basket.”

Denver has dug another big hole in these playoffs and if they are going to advance to the NBA finals they will have to come back from a 3-1 deficit for the third straight series.

Denver lost game four in each of their first two series against Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers before making a pair of historic comebacks.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 13 points and Rajon Rondo tallied 11 points for the Lakers, who bounced back from a loss in game three in which they rebounded poorly by outscoring the Nuggets 25-6 in second-chance points yesterday.

Murray led the Nuggets in the first half, scoring 16 points on seven of nine shooting from the floor.

Murray was outstanding making several falling, spinning and even one leaping left-handed basket. But on the rare occasion he did miss, Murray didn’t get a lot of support from his rebounders.

He made one of the most dynamic layups of the postseason when he went one-on-one with James in the first half and reached up while falling and — with a flick of the wrist — spun the ball off the backboard.

The Nuggets managed to keep the score close until the end, but they missed their last five shots of the game as the Lakers played better down the stretch.*AFP


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October 2020