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Apr 23, 2024 1:02 am

Jamal Murray, Nuggets sink Lakers at buzzer

nuggets, lakers

Jamal Murray hit a step-back jumper as time expired, and the host Denver Nuggets rallied from a 20-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 101-99 in Game 2 of a Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Murray, who struggled shooting all game, dribbled to the baseline and launched a 15-footer over the outstretched hand of Anthony Davis to give Denver a 2-0 series lead.

He was mobbed by teammates in front of the bench as the sold-out crowd celebrated.

Game 3 in the best-of-seven series will be played Thursday in Los Angeles.

Murray finished with 20 points on 9-for-24 shooting, but came through in the final minutes.

LeBron James had a steal and layup to put Los Angeles up 95-92, Michael Porter Jr.’s 3-pointer with 1:15 left tied it, and then Murray took over. He hit two free throws and a 19-footer to answer buckets by Los Angeles. James then missed a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left to set up Murray’s heroics.

Nikola Jokic had 27 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists while Porter scored 22 for the Nuggets, who have beaten the Lakers in 10 straight meetings, regular season and postseason combined.

Davis had 32 points and 11 rebounds but scored just two points in the final 22 minutes. James had 26 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds and D’Angelo Russell hit six of his seven 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 23 for Los Angeles.

The Lakers led 89-81 after two clutch 3-pointers from James in the middle of the fourth quarter before Denver rallied. Jokic produced a three-point play as the Nuggets got within 93-92 with 2:12 left.

Davis’ 24 first-half points helped the Lakers hold a 59-44 lead at intermission. Davis had two three-point plays and Austin Reaves hit a 3-pointer to open up a 68-48 lead two minutes into the third quarter, but the Lakers went cold after they were up 74-55.

Los Angeles went 5:14 without point, missing eight straight shots and turning it over three times while the Nuggets chipped away. Jokic’s hook shot capped a 10-0 run that made it 74-65 with 2:27 left in the third.

The Lakers led 79-69 heading into the fourth.

–Field Level Media

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