The Los Angeles Lakers fell 114-106 to the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals behind arguably the worst performance since the series opener against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round.
L.A. seemed sloppy and could not match Denver’s intensity for the first three quarters, failing to recover in the last period despite a ferocious rally. While it wasn’t a great showing as a whole, Alex Caruso doesn’t believe significant changes are needed for Game 4.
However, the guard said L.A. must focus on executing the game plan better including cranking up their pace. “I think when we handle our business and we show up and we’re locked in defensively and then we move the ball offensively, we’re a really good team,” he said.
“I don’t think we did that for the majority of the three quarters last night. I think we were just a little stagnant on offense, whether that was just not playing with enough pace. … I think we can play a little faster. I think that will help us, and ultimately when we play fast it helps our defense.”
Caruso hesitated to say the Lakers could benefit from the loss, although he admitted that complacency could have crept into the team following six straight playoff wins. “I don’t know if there’s a benefit to losing. You like to learn lessons through wins,” he said.
“I think the biggest thing for us is just playing more desperate and maybe losing pushes us to the edge, maybe we got a little too comfortable, like you said, winning six games in a row over whatever couple-week span of playing those games you lose focus a little bit. It’s human nature.”
Caruso, Green hurt but expected to play in Game 4
Caruso and Danny Green suffered minor injuries in the Game 3 loss to Denver. The former is struggling with a sore wrist and underwent an MRI out of precaution. Meanwhile, Green is nursing a left ring finger injury.
Both players are listed as probable ahead of Game 4, with Lakers head coach Frank Vogel saying he expects the guards to play on Thursday.
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