Denver Nuggets overcome adversity, take a 3-0 lead over the Lakers

May 21, 2023, 3:26 AM | Updated: 8:26 am

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets drives to the basket against Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Ang...

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets drives to the basket against Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter in game three of the Western Conference Finals at Crypto.com Arena on May 20, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

With less than a minute to play in the game, the Lakers had shot 29 free throws, while the Denver Nuggets had shot just 17. Nikola Jokic, a two-time MVP, went to the bench with seven minutes to go in the third quarter on a fantom foul call. And Los Angeles didn’t commit a single foul until nine minutes into the third period.

It’s not hard to see the pattern. It’s not difficult to understand that the deck was stacked against the Nuggets.

It’s understandable. The league wants Los Angeles involved in as many games as possible. LeBron James and the Lakers are good for television ratings.

But Denver was too much for all of those factors. They overcame everything that was stacked against them.

In the end, the Nuggets walked away with a 119-108 victory. They now hold a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

There were plenty of heroes. Just pick a time and another one arose.

Jamal Murray had 30 points in the first half. Nikola Jokic finished with 24 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Michael Porter Jr. contributed 14 points and 10 boards. Bruce Brown had 15 points off the bench.

The Nuggets are one win away from their first trip to the NBA Finals. They have four chances to notch that win.

Uncharted waters are ahead. That’s nothing new for this team.

This story was first published by Sactown Sports‘ sister station, Denver SportsThank you for reading SactownSports.com. Follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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