National Basketball Association

AD Beats Buzzer to Overcome Denver

September 20

The Joker almost overcame LA's dynamic duo.

Almost.

Here are the key takeaways from the Lakers' thrilling win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals:

1. Battle of the Bigs – Part 2

On Friday, Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard dominated the Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets in the paint, but Sunday was a different story.

At the end of the fourth quarter, AD and The Joker essentially played one-on-one. Jokic scored the final 12 points of the game for Denver and Davis scored the final 10 for the Lakers, including the game-winning three.

After posting 37 points and 10 rebounds on Friday. Davis finished Sunday with 31 points and 9 rebounds, including the game-winning three.

Jokic put up 30 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals for Denver. 

2. LeBron was still pissed

After finishing second in the NBA MVP race, receiving a mere 16 first-place votes, LeBron James expressed his disappointment on Friday.

And in the first quarter of Sunday's Game 2, "y'all" was the Nuggets.

After scoring 12 in the first, James scored 8 in the second quarter, entering the half with 20 points.

However, it was Davis that closed the show for the Lakers, as LeBron scored only 6 points in the second half and did not score in the final 9:42 on Sunday.

James was 2-for-8 in the second half, after shooting 8-for-11 in the first half.

3. Where does Denver go from here?

It's fair to say Sunday's Game 2 slipped through Denver's fingers. 

With Denver leading by 1 in the closing seconds, Lakers guard Alex Caruso missed a wide-open three from the top of the key with 6.9 seconds left, giving the Nuggets the stop they needed. 

However, Danny Green grabbed the offensive board for LA, and Nuggets guard Jamal Murray blocked Green's putback attempt and fell out of bounds, setting the Lakers up for one last play with 2.1 seconds left. 

The rest is history.

Jokic matched Davis bucket for bucket, and Murray's 25 points essentially canceled out James' 26. Denver forced 23 turnovers, and the Nuggets roared back after trailing by as many as 16 in the third quarter and by 8 with 3:03 left. 

Still, Denver came up short and are now in a 0-2 hole for the first time this postseason.


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