LeBron James’ team won 105-103 against the Denver Nuggets and dominates the series 2-0.
With just a couple of seconds left on the clock, Anthony Davis made a hole to receive the ball and scored an agonizing triple to sign a new triumph of Los Angeles Lakers sobre Denver Nuggets. With the victory by 105 to 103 this Sunday, LeBron James’ team increased the difference in the final of the NBA Western Conference, in which they now dominate by 2 to 0.
The power forward became the great figure of the Lakers, on another night in the “bubble” of Orlando. Davis finished with 31 points. He wrote down the last 10 goals for Los Angeles and finished 22 in the second half to help Los Angeles avoid becoming the latest victim of a Denver comeback.
“People talk about how I’ve never been in this moment before, about pressure. I’m ready for this,” Davis stressed. “I want to take these shots. It’s part of my legacy. I want the big plays. This is what they brought me in for, to make big plays.”
The Nuggets trailed by 16 points, but Nikola Jokic scored 11 straight points down the stretch, including a double that put the score 103-102 with 20 seconds remaining.
Alex Caruso missed a triple and Jamal Murray blocked a shot from Danny Green with 2.1 seconds left. But the Lakers made up a third chance. AND it was the charm.
First, Davis mocked the Mason Plumlee brand. The pivot had entered specifically to defend him on that final shot, but he ran into LeBron James’ curtain and was out of the play.
On the left flank, the hero of the night received almost alone the pass of Rajon Rondo from the back of the court. The last hurdle was Jokic’s desperate plug attempt. Serbian could do nothing to prevent it: the ball rose and entered the ring, lit red because time was up.
The celebration was A relief for the Los Angeles team. He had clearly imposed himself in the first quarter (29-21) and had also dominated the second (31-29). But the Nuggets went looking for the comeback in the second half. With partials of 28-22 and 25-23, they were very close to achieving it.
With just over 30 seconds left, Jokic put Denver ahead: 101-100. Davis immediately came to the rescue: 102-101. After a timeout, on another quick play Jokic again put the Nuggets ahead: 103-102. Then came the failed attempts by Caruso and Green. And Davis’s triple, which prevented Denver from repeating with the Lakers the comeback he got against the Clippers, the other Los Angeles franchise, and the Utah Jazz.
James was a luxury spectator of the miraculous triple. “I definitely thought the ball would get to me,” he said of strategy. But “Rajon (Rondo) got the reading right.”
Davis “is different, it’s that simple (…) He proved that it is one of the best players in the world “He was praised by LeBron, who finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
“They have two great players,” admitted Jokic, author of 30 points and 9 assists. “LeBron, probably the best player in the league, and Davis, perhaps the best scorer. We can only make it more difficult, more uncomfortable.”
“We put in the effort, the fight. We lost the game but we played well most of the game,” stressed the Serbian, who had the help of Murray (25 goals). “We must hold our heads high and look at the next one.”
The third game will be on Tuesday at 22.
A day later the fourth game of the Eastern definition will be played, between Boston and Miami. The Heat are winning the series 2-1, after the Celtics discounted with their clear victory on Saturday.
With information from AP and AFP