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Lakers on the brink of elimination after losing third straight game to the Denver Nuggets



Lakers on the brink of elimination after losing third straight game to the Denver Nuggets

Aaron Gordon had 29 factors and 15 rebounds, Nikola Jokic added 24 factors, 15 rebounds and 9 assists, and the Denver Nuggets moved to the brink of the second spherical with a 112-105 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Recreation 3 of their first-round sequence Thursday evening.

Jamal Murray scored 22 factors because the defending NBA champion Nuggets gained their eleventh consecutive assembly with LeBron James and the Lakers in dominating model.

Michael Porter Jr. added 20 factors for Denver, which took management within the third quarter and cruised via the ultimate minutes to its fifth straight street win over Los Angeles, beginning with its sweep of final season’s Western Convention finals.

Recreation 4 is Saturday evening in Los Angeles. No NBA group has ever rallied from an 0-3 playoff deficit.

LeBron James (23) of the Los Angeles Lakers disputes a no-call upon getting muscled to the deck by Aaron Gordon (50) of the Denver Nuggets throughout the second quarter at Area in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 25, 2024. 

Picture by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Submit

Anthony Davis had 33 factors and 15 rebounds, and James added 26 factors and 9 assists within the Lakers’ seventh consecutive postseason loss to Denver over the previous two years. Los Angeles hasn’t crushed the Nuggets since Dec. 16, 2022.

Austin Reaves scored 22 factors for Los Angeles, which surged into the postseason with largely excellent play because the holidays, capped by a powerful play-in win over New Orleans to grab the seventh seed.

However the Nuggets are the identical nightmare matchup for the Lakers — or any opponent, actually — that they have been a yr in the past within the convention finals.

Davis and James have been excellent as soon as once more, however they cannot do it alone. The Lakers missed 15 of their first 16 3-point makes an attempt in Recreation 3, going almost 34 minutes between 3-point buckets.

D’Angelo Russell went scoreless in 24 minutes of play for the Lakers, who acquired solely two assists out of their inconsistent third choice on offense. Russell missed all seven of his pictures, together with six 3-point makes an attempt.

In the meantime, Gordon had his highest-scoring recreation within the Nuggets’ previous two playoff runs, highlighted by 10 factors within the third quarter whereas Denver took management. Jokic made 9 of his 13 pictures and barely missed his seventeenth profession postseason triple-double.

The second-seeded Nuggets started their title protection with two wins in Denver, pulling away late in Recreation 1 earlier than snatching Recreation 2 with a livid comeback capped by Murray’s profitable jumper on the buzzer.

After blowing a 20-point lead within the second half of Recreation 2, the seventh-seeded Lakers have been left feeling annoyed, outmanned — and sometimes confused, in line with Davis, who stated the Lakers generally do not know what they’re doing when confronted with Denver’s offensive versatility.

None of these issues had been alleviated in Recreation 3, and now the Lakers are one loss away from the top of James’ outstanding twenty first NBA season. Los Angeles hadn’t performed a house recreation in 16 days, and it has gained simply as soon as at dwelling since March 24.

The Nuggets went 16-4 in final season’s playoffs, they usually seem able to one other steamroll via the postseason after comfortably dealing with the proficient Lakers via three video games.

A matchup with Denver is brutal even with the Lakers’ regulars all enjoying nicely, and Russell’s disappearing act was compounded by one other quiet recreation from starter Rui Hachimura, who had solely 5 factors whereas taking 4 pictures in 28 minutes.

Denver turned a small halftime deficit right into a 10-point lead with a 24-10 run to start out the second half led by Gordon and Murray, who mixed for 19 factors within the third quarter. The Lakers by no means acquired nearer than eight factors down the stretch within the fourth quarter.

Whereas the Lakers’ followers left the constructing within the closing minutes, a small group within the Lakers’ finish chanted “Hearth Darvin!” towards Lakers coach Darvin Ham.

Whereas the struggles of Hachimura and Russell made it irrelevant, Spencer Dinwiddie had eight factors because the Lakers lastly acquired bench scoring from somebody apart from Taurean Prince, the one Los Angeles reserve to attain in these two video games in Denver.

Lakers swingman Jarred Vanderbilt did not return from the sprained proper foot that has stored him out since Feb. 1. Cam Reddish and Christian Wooden additionally remained out with accidents, however Ham stated the group can have important updates Friday.



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