Anthony Davis hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer as time ran out as the Los Angeles Lakers held off a stunning comeback attempt by the Denver Nuggets to finish with a 105-103 win in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday to take a 2-0 series lead.
Davis shot 3-of-9 from the field in the first half as LeBron James led the way with 20 first-half points.
The Lakers started off the game strong behind a very aggressive LeBron James, but the Nuggets slowly erased a 10-point halftime deficit in the second half, leading to an exciting finish to the game.
The Lakers are now two games away from their return to the NBA Finals since 2010, but the series itself is far from over. After all, the Nuggets have come back from consecutive 3-1 deficits in the previous two rounds and nearly overturned a 16-point lead to win Game 2. Davis saved the Lakers from a 1-1 tie, but will have to deliver two more wins to help the Lakers progress.
Davis finished with a game-high 31 points and nine rebounds – including the Lakers’ final 10 points. LeBron James recorded 26 points and 11 rebounds on the night.
Frank Vogel: "We want to embody what Kobe Bryant stood for and honor his memory … that’s a shot Kobe Bryant would hit. AD flying to the wing like that, catch and shoot with the game on the line, the biggest moment of the season, nothing but net? That’s a Mamba shot."
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 21, 2020
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 30 points, nine assists, and six rebounds, going back-and-forth with Davis down the stretch as the big men traded buckets in the clutch. Jamal Murray scored 25 points and almost won the game for the Nuggets with an impressive block in the final minute, but was unable to do so.
It was 100-92 in the final minutes of the last quarter after another 3 by Davis, before Jokic answered with 9 straight points, tipping in a miss by Murray to give Denver a 101-100 edge with 31 seconds to play. Davis put the Lakers back on top with a basket, but Jokic backed him down on the other end again to put the Nuggets in the lead with 20 seconds remaining.
The Lakers are 3-0 in the playoffs wearing the Black Mamba uniforms in the NBA bubble in Orlando and it took an Anthony Davis buzzer beater to keep that up.
Only seven players in Lakers history have hit a game-winning playoff buzzer-beater:
– Jerry West
– Elgin Baylor
– Robert Horry
– Derek Fisher
– Kobe Bryant
– Metta World Peace
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 21, 2020
“That’s a shot that Kobe Bryant would hit,” Frank Vogel said of AD’s winner.
“We never want to lose in these jerseys. We never want to lose at all.”
Game 3 will be on Tuesday with the Lakers hoping to go within one game of reaching their first NBA finals in a decade, but will be wary of the fact that the Nuggets have come back from situations like no other in these playoffs.
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