Home BASKETBALL NBA LA Lakers vs Denver Nuggets – Game 3 of Western Conference Finals

LA Lakers vs Denver Nuggets – Game 3 of Western Conference Finals

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The Grant household took the spotlight in this game 3 of the WCF. Jerami Grant scored a career playoff-high 26 points to lead the fiery Denver Nuggets to a 114-106 win over the LA Lakers. LBJ put up a 30 point triple-double co-supported by Davis’s 27 points, 2 rebounds, failing to close out the game.

Quarter Analysis:

First Quarter- Both teams got off to fiery starts to the game, shooting more than 50% from the field. Nikola Jokic got off to an aggressive start, putting up 11p, 2a, 4r, and punishing Javale McGee in the foul category. LeBron James was the engine in the opening minutes of the game, and getting AD in a rhythm saw an even offense burst. Jokic was the facilitator for Murray on the wings (perimeter/45s) who has become a solid shot maker. The quarter ended at 29-27, in favor of Denver.

Second Quarter- Nuggets effort on the defensive end resulted in LA’s 6 turnovers, which saw Denver go on a 17-2 run in 3 minutes. Anthony Davis, realizing the situation his team is in goes on the offense, making tough shots and getting to the free-throw line. But Denver kept their foot on the gas through valuable contributions from their bench. Defensive stops shot-making particularly Monte Morris and Michael Porter Junior helped end the quarter at 63-53 for Denver.

Also read: NBA Eastern Conference Finals – Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics – Game 3

Third Quarter- Jerami Grant takes off on both ends of the court, pushing the tempo on the offense en route a career-high in points. LeBron James, one of the best drivers of the basketball, got down to business on the offensive end. Scoring 3 straight baskets, dishing 9 assists and grabbing 6 boards; only to be doused by Denver’s dynamic duo. Jokic weaving the offense and Murray delivering on the dime, saw the Nuggets open up the largest lead of the night, 20 points. The quarter ends at 93-75, in favor of Denver.

Fourth Quarter- Playoff Rondo is real. Taking advantage of Lakers 3-2 zone, Rondo sparked up the defensive end leading to 5 Denver turnovers. LeBron James and co took this opportunity and went on a 18-2 run to cut the deficit to 99-91. As it so happened, the Lakers blew a flat tyre, players looking seemingly gassed couldn’t keep up the same energy throughout. The Nuggets kept going till the end by making crucial stops and buckets down the stretch to comfortably win 114-106.

Key Stats:

Lakers have 3 big men in McGee, Davis and Howard who are over 6′ 10″, who could only total 4 rebounds amongst them. Denver outrebounded the Lakers 44-25, which almost always translates into which team wants to win the game more. Lakers could only manage 63.6% from the free-throw line, including missing shots down the stretch of the game. Denver shot 37.1 from the 3PT line, a much better story than Lakers 23.1% which has been their Achilles heel throughout their season.

Looking Ahead:

The Lakers will always get the output from their star players, the role and bench players will have to step-up. Lakers will have to be aggressive from the get-go on the glass, aimto contain their star duo to less than 25 points each. Denver are not going to roll over and give in easily. Their star players will have to function on a high level on the offensive end and the team has to support them in making the same shots they made today. Rhythm, Rebounds and Defense will determine the winner of this series.

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