Despite a spirited comeback effort from the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to win Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday thanks to a buzzer-beating 3-point shot by Anthony Davis.
Unlike last game, the Lakers didn’t look like they were in complete control in the first half despite their 10-point lead at the half. However, they were still able to outplay the Nuggets because of an aggressive and efficient first half from LeBron James.
In the first half, James scored 20 points on on 72% shooting from the field, including 75% shooting from behind the arc. The Lakers haven’t needed James to takeover a game for them offensively so far in the postseason, but they needed every one of those points on Sunday night because of how tightly-contested the game became in the second half.
Lakers fans had hoped that the team left their third quarter woes in the regular season, but those struggles flared up again in Game 3. There was no rhythm of flow to the offense to start the third frame, and the Nuggets took full advantage of every one of the Lakers’ shots that clanked off of the rim. The Nuggets outscored the Lakers 28-22 in the third quarter.
The bleeding didn’t stop in the fourth quarter either, but the Lakers looked more like themselves and they had a few players hit some big shots, including, but not limited to, Danny Green and Anthony Davis. Davis’ step-back 3-pointer gave the Lakers an 8-point lead with less than three minutes on the game clock.
And yet, that wasn’t the biggest shot Davis hit on Sunday.
The Nuggets wouldn’t go away in the fourth quarter and took the lead two different times with less than a minute on the game clock, with Nikola Jokic coming up especially huge with multiple big shots. The Lakers had an opportunity to take the lead on the final possession, but their first attempt fell short, with Alex Caruso missing a three and then Danny Green getting his shot blocked out of bounds.
Then, with two seconds left and the game on the line, Davis hit arguably the biggest shot of his career.
And that was the game.
The Lakers are now up 2-0, and will try and improve their series lead to three games in Game 3 on Tuesday. Tip-off will be at 6 p.m. on TNT.