Video Credit: NBA

FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Nuggets – Western Conference Final – Game 3 – 9/22/2020

(#1) Los Angeles Lakers (10-3)  |  (#3) Denver Nuggets (9-8)


The Lakers came out sluggish to start Game 3 and Denver makes it a 2-1 series with the 114-106 victory.


Lakers vs Nuggets
Photo Credit: LA Times

After tragically losing in Game 2 with Anthony Davis‘ game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer, I was not sure how the Denver Nuggets were going to come out. To my surprise, they came out aggressive and ready to play in Game 3.

On the other hand, it was the Los Angeles Lakers who came out with a slow start. All of that momentum that was built off that game-winning three seemed to be broken.

Nikola Jokic, who scored Denver’s final 11 points at the end of Game 2, got back right where he left off. He scored 15 points on 6-9 (66%) shooting in the first half.

His star guard teammate Jamal Murray contributed 12 points on 4-7 (57%) shooting by the half.

Off the bench, Monte Morris provided some critical minutes, scoring 12 points in 11 minutes, going into halftime. The Nuggets, who are known for their depth, did a great job of knocking down their threes (6-15, 40%) and getting back on defense to slow down the Lakers.

Ironically, for Los Angeles, who is not known for their depth, had a very unbalanced scoring attack in the first half. Davis continued his excellent shooting with 16 points on 5-8 (62.5%) shooting from the field. LeBron James had 10 points on 5-7 (71.4%) shooting. Besides the two superstar players, there was not too much scoring from the rest of the team.


In the first half, Denver built their biggest lead up to 18 points, but then things changed with about seven minutes left in the second quarter.


Lakers head coach Frank Vogel inserted veteran Dwight Howard to help disturb Jokic. By halftime, Los Angeles was able to cut the deficit down to 10 points. Howard’s play on Jokic was impressive enough for Vogel to give Howard the second-half start.


Lakers vs Nuggets
Photo Credit: Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post

To start the third quarter, the Lakers continued to chip away at the lead. A 21-8 run helped the game go back down to single digits. But it would not last long, as the Nuggets were able to build their lead back up.

A massive problem for both teams in the previous game was turnovers, and the Lakers seemed to still have an issue with that in Game 3. Denver was able to score off their turnovers, building their lead up to 20 points with 10 minutes left in the game.

Just when it seemed like the Nuggets were going to run away with it, the tables quickly flipped. Now Denver was committing countless turnovers themselves, and the Lakers were quickly coming back to make things interesting. Before they knew what hit them, Los Angeles had fought their way back to within three with 5:26 left in the game.

Unfortunately for the Lake Show, that was the closest they were to coming back and stealing the game. The Nuggets regrouped to finish strong and take the 114-106 victory.


Murray led his team with a double-double of 28 points and 12 rebounds. Jokic was behind him with a double-double of his own with 22 points and 10 rebounds.


The critical third option player of the game for Denver in Game 3 was Jerami Grant. He scored 26 points on 7-11 (63%) shooting, while also playing tremendous defense, including slowing down and taking charges on Davis and James.


Lakers vs Nuggets
Photo Credit: Sports Grind Ent

James finished with a triple-double of the game-high 30 points, ten rebounds, and 11 assists. Davis was not far behind with 27 points, but he only grabbed two rebounds. As a big man who is a superstar, only two rebounds is unacceptable and disappointing.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was able to help contribute with 12 points on 5-8 (62.5%) shooting. Kyle Kuzma came off the bench to score 11 points on 4-7 (57.1%) shooting.

It is now a series with the Denver win, and it will be up to the Lakers to bounce back and take a commanding 3-1 lead.


Game 4 will be on Thursday, Sep. 24, at 6pm. You can watch the game on TNT and Spectrum SportsNet.


Western Conference Finals schedule (All times PT)

  • Game 1Lakers 126 – Nuggets 114
  • Game 2 Lakers 105 – Nuggets 103
  • Game 3 Nuggets 114 – Lakers 106
  • 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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Isaiah Torres

Twitter: Isaiah_Torres24

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