After falling behind 0-2 in the Western Conference finals, the Denver Nuggets showed incredible effort in Game 3 to pull out a win against the Lakers. L.A. still has the advantage in this series, but Game 3 showed that the Nuggets are starting to figure things out. This team is comfortable playing as the underdogs, and while it isn't ideal to be playing from behind, we can't count Denver out until they are absolutely out of the postseason.
Denver will have to replicate the success it found in Game 3, which was largely centered around the standout performance of Jamal Murray, to get completely back in this series, otherwise they'll be staring down an all-too-familiar 1-3 deficit.
Here's everything you need to know about Game 3 between the Nuggets and Lakers.
- Date: Thursday, Sept. 24 | 9 p.m. ET
- Location: Disney Wide World of Sports -- Orlando, Florida
- TV: TNT
- Odds: Lakers -6 | Over/Under: 214.5
Lakers: In Game 3, Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard combined for just four rebounds, which is entirely unacceptable. The Lakers made several mental mistakes in this game, which led to Denver getting out to a 20-point lead at one point in the game. However, another big issue L.A. faced was its poor shooting from deep against Denver. As a team, the Lakers shot 23.1 percent from beyond the arch, with Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo and Alex Caruso going a combined 0-11 from deep. This has always been an area of concern for L.A. this season, given that they don't have many consistent shooters on their roster, and it was made even more apparent in Game 3.
Nuggets: Game 3 really cemented Murray's status as one of the best young players we have in the league. All throughout the postseason he's given us spectacular performances that have really been the driving force behind Denver's run, but in the Nuggets most recent win, he showed just how clutch he can be. He hit two big-time buckets just as the Lakers were getting back in the game in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, and sealed the win for Denver. Nikola Jokic is undoubtedly the best player on this team, but Murray's play in Game 3 proved what coach Mike Malone said after the win, that the Nuggets indeed do have two superstars. Now, though, Murray, Jokic and the rest of the Nuggets players will have to replicate that success in Game 4 and going forward in this series to keep their championship hopes alive.
Denver showed that it was figuring things out in Game 3, but if it weren't for Murray's late-game heroics again, L.A. could very well be up 3-0 in this series. Give credit to the Nuggets, because they did get out to a huge lead early in the game, but it also had to do with the Lakers making several mistakes. I don't think the Lakers let the Nuggets get out to such a huge lead in Game 4, and I expect LeBron James to have a vintage performance to show those saying his age is showing that he can still control a game.