In a game that went all the way down to the final shot, the Los Angeles Lakers prevailed over the Denver Nuggets, going up 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals.
Anthony Davis was the hero of the night as he drained the game-winning three over Nikola Jokic to give the Lakers the win at the buzzer. It was immediately after Jokic seemingly won the game for Denver by hitting a tough shot over Davis’ outstretched arm.
Davis once again led Los Angeles in scoring, pouring in 31 points and grabbing nine rebounds in just under 40 minutes. He was also a menace on the defensive end, recording two blocks and adding a steal and discouraging plenty of looks around the basket.
While Davis closed the game, LeBron James was who got the team going early as he scored their first 12 points with a mix of threes and drives in the paint. James had 20 points at halftime and appeared on his way to a big scoring night.
However, he had a peculiar second half, regularly settled for jumpers late in the shot clock and seemed content with letting his teammates control the offense. James ended up with 26 points and 11 rebounds, but only had four assists.
Up double-digits at the half, the Lakers allowed the Nuggets back into the game thanks to their carelessness with the basketball. L.A. committed 24 turnovers on the night, most of them self-inflicted as they relaxed after going up by 16 earlier in the game.
The turnovers led to 15 points for Denver, but the other noteworthy stat was the lack of transition points for Los Angeles. The Nuggets made it a point to get back each time down the floor and it worked as they limited the Lakers to only eight fast-break points.
Alex Caruso was one of the few bright spots off the bench as his defensive effort led to some highlight plays, including a dunk in the second quarter that got the Laker roster jumping. He finished with nine points, two rebounds, and two assists.
What’s next for Lakers
It was a nerve-wracking second half that began to shape up like another improbable Denver comeback, but luckily Davis’ clutch three has Los Angeles up 2-0 instead of tied in the series.
The turnover problem needs to be rectified ahead of Game 3 as the Lakers can not afford to beat themselves in a series that could turn on its head at any moment. The team also needs to get back to attacking the paint and offensive glass to ensure they take a commanding 3-0 lead.
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