Nuggets hold back Lakers for Game 3 win
ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets handles the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Three of the Western Conference Finals on September 22, 2020 in Orlando, Florida at AdventHealth Arena.
NATHANIEL S. BUTLER / NBAE / GETTY IMAGES / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP
Nuggets hold back Lakers for Game 3 win
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - September 23, 2020 - 11:45am

MANILA, Philippines — The Denver Nuggets have made it a series against the Los Angeles Lakers after avoiding a late Game Three meltdown, 114-106, in the NBA Western Conference Finals on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).

After losing Game Two on a buzzer-beater by Anthony Davis, the Nuggets eked out a crucial win and avoided a 0-3 hole.

While the Los Angeles was the first to control the game with an 8-2 start, Denver was able to play at pace and lead the Lakers at the end of the first quarter, 29-27.

The Nuggets continued on their offensive outburst in the second quarter, led by a more aggressive Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

Midway through the second salvo, they led by as much as 18, 50-32.

But the Lakers went on a run of their own to trim the lead to 10 at halftime, 53-63.

Then it looked as if they were about to complete a comeback into the game in the third quarter after a personal 5-0 run by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to start the second half put them in a two posession game, 58-63.

However, Jerami Grant proved to be the Nuggets' saving grace after leading the way for another offensive run by the Nuggets to increase the lead once again.

Grant scored 18 points in the third quarter alone and ballooned the lead to as much as 20 in the third quarter.

Not easily shaken, the Lakers trimmed the lead once again to as small as two, 97-99 after an 20-2 run in the fourth quarter with six minutes left in the game.

But the Nuggets were able to shake off their offensive and turnover woes in time to hold them off for the win.

A deep 3-point dagger from Murray with less than a minute left buried the Lakers, 111-99.

Murray top-scored for the Nuggets with 28 points. He also had eight rebounds and 12 assists.

Grant had a career playoff-high 26 points while Jokic finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

Monte Morris also had a good game off of the bench with 14 points — also a career playoff-high for him.

Meanwhile, Davis and LeBron James were bright spots for the Lakers.

James finished with a triple-doube of 30 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Davis had 27 points in the losing effort.

Game Four will tip off on Thursday (Friday, Manila time) with the Nuggets seeking to even the season series.

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