Video Credit: NBA

Recap: Lakers vs Nuggets – Western Conference Finals – Game 2

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Los Angeles Lakers (10-2)  |  Denver Nuggets (8-8)

 

The Lakers finished the first half of this game with a 60 to 50 lead.

 

Photo Credit: Action Network

The start of the first quarter had both teams struggling offensively. The Nuggets did not score a point for the first seven possessions. As for the Lakers, everybody struggled except for LeBron James. Even Anthony Davis struggled to score because he kept targeting the paint that was clogged by at least 2 Nuggets for most of the quarter. Nikola Jokic stayed in the kcolorey for most of the time on defense, and switches would lead to another player helping him guard Davis. At one point in the first quarter, James was 5 for six from the floor while the rest of the Lakers were 0 for 12.  

 

Things started to pick up for the Lakers as their role players started to hit their shots after more ball movement.

 

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finished the half with 8 points, shooting 2 for three from three. Alex Caruso came off the bench then shot 3 for five from the floor, scoring 9  points for the half.  The Lakers player of the half was by far James. He finished the half with 20 points, shooting for 11 from the floor and 3-4 from three point land and doing so with a sore groin.  

Regardless, things never picked up for Danny Green and Davis. Green was 1 for five from three for the half, shooting 2 for eight from the floor. Davis was 3 for ten from the floor, finishing the half with only 9 points.  

Even though Green and Davis struggled offensively, the Lakers’ defense did a great job with switches and good double teams. Their most significant accomplishment was limiting Jamal Murray and Jokic. Murray finished the half shooting only seven times. He was 3 for seven from the floor with only one assist. Jokic was even worse, shooting 3 for ten from the floor.  

 

The Lakers closed the game out, winning 105 to 103.  

 

Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports

The Nuggets were down around 10 points for most of the game. Jokic, Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. started heating up, which helped them take constant leads in the 4th quarter. After that, they kept going back and forth with the Lakers. Davis began to shoot more mid-range jump shots, which helped him finish the game with 28 points.  

With a little less than 3 minutes left, the Lakers started to go cold, not scoring a point in 2 minutes. Jokic hit a shot to put the Nuggets up 1 with 20 seconds left. When it was the Lakers‘ time to respond, Murray blocked Green, smacking the ball out of bounds with 2 seconds left. The ball was inbounded to Davis, who hit the game-winning three. He finished the game with 31 points, shooting 11 for 23 from the floor.  

The Nuggets came close because Murray and Jokic heated up. Jokic finished with 30 points while Murray finished with 25. The Nuggets also were able to keep the game close because the Lakers’ three-point shooting started to cool down. At half time, they were shooting 43 percent from three. They finished the game shooting only 36.1 percent.  

The Lakers also managed to win the game because of their offensive rebounds. They ended up with 13 offensive rebounds, which gave them opportunities for second-chance points. Since they only won by 2, every point counted, and many of their points came from second chances after rebounds.  

 

Even though James was efficient, the Laker player of the game had to been Davis. Davis not only hit the game winning shot but finished with more points. This should not discredit James’ performance though. He put up 26 points with 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Even though he had 6 turnovers, he shot 50 percent from the floor. That drastically helped the Lakers take a 2 to 0 series lead. 

 

Western Conference Finals schedule (All times PT)

  • Game 1Lakers 126 – Nuggets 114
  • Game 2Lakers 105 – Nuggets 103
  • Game 3—Tuesday, September 22, 6 p.m.—TNT
  • Game 4—Thursday, September 24, 6 p.m.—TNT
  • Game 5*—Saturday, September 26, 6 p.m.—TNT
  • Game 6*—Monday, September 28, TBD—TNT
  • Game 7*—Wednesday, September 30, TBD—TNT

*If required

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-Kyle Randolph – Franchise Sports Media

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Lakers vs Nuggets Game 2