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Nuggets’ Jamal Murray still not over Game 2 letdown

Jamal Murray

Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets finally made it a series on Tuesday with an impressive 114-106 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 3 their West Finals series.

The spirited win trimmed the Lakers’ advantage two games to one, but Murray still feels it should have been the other way around.

While the Nuggets got thrashed in the series opener, 126-114, Game 2 was a whole different story. After being down as much as 10 in the final quarter, Denver went on a furious rally spearheaded by Nikola Jokic’s 11 consecutive points in the closing minutes.

They actually took a one-point lead following a right-handed hook shot from The Joker and were on pace to steal the win after a crucial defensive stop by Murray against Danny Green in the ensuing possession. The Lakers, however, still had 2.1 seconds to prevent the meltdown and Anthony Davis put on his cape and bailed out his team.

A defensive miscommunication between Mason Plumlee and Jerami Grant allowed AD to get a good look off the inbound, as he buried the Nuggets with a buzzer-beating triple to complete the 105-103 win.

In Murray’s defense, he did a splendid job in the first two games of the series, dropping back-to-back 20-plus point performances. He made sure his efforts will no longer go for naught in Game 3.

The Nuggets were still licking their wounds entering Tuesday’s match, but it did not dampen their spirits. They came out firing from the opening tip and held double-digit leads for much of the ball game. The Lakers, however, put up a ferocious rally of their own in the fourth quarter of Game 3 and threatened to steal another W.

Jamal Murray was actually in danger of getting tossed out of the ball game after the inadvertent elbow he landed on LeBron James’ face in the third period. He only got a flagrant foul 1 call and stayed locked-in for the rest of the night, punishing the Lakers with timely baskets down the stretch. He finished with 28 points, eight rebounds, and 12 assists.

The Nuggets will need Murray to stay consistent for the rest of the series in order to upset the West’s number one seed.