Nuggets’ historic comeback stuns Lakers

Reigning NBA champions the Denver Nuggets have pulled off a stunning comeback win over the LA Lakers to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference first round, just hours after the NY Knicks had a miracle last-gasp win over Philadelphia.

The Lakers came out hot and led by 15 points at halftime on the back of 18 points and six-of-seven three-pointers from D’Angelo Russell and 24 points on 11-of-12 shooting from Anthony Davis.

Having been down by as many as 20 points midway through the third quarter, the Nuggets cut the deficit to nine at the final break. The lead dropped down to two points before back-to-back LeBron James three-pointers stretched it back to eight with less than five minutes to play.

But the Nuggets wouldn’t go away, and surged at the death on the back of some exceptional play from Jamal Murray.

With scores tied, James missed a wide-open three-point attempt with 16 seconds to play, before Jamal Murray sealed the remarkable victory with a buzzer-beating fadeaway over Anthony Davis.

James said afterwards: “The moment it left his hand, I already knew it was going in. I called ‘GAME’ for him.”



Murray scored the Nuggets’ final six points of the game, and had 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter – having made just 3 of 16 shots in the first three quarters.

Murray said: “I told my teammates when I was struggling, ‘I’m gonna look for y’all. I’m gonna look for y’all.’ And every single one of them told me to ‘keep shooting, keep shooting. Be aggressive. Keep shooting.’ Even when I was throwing up that bulls**t floater.”

“I knew, once I made a couple, the next one would go down as well.”

It marked the Nuggets’ bigggest postseason comeback in franchise history, having previously overcome 19-point deficits twice before Tuesday’s game.


Nikola Jokic had 27 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists in a monster triple-double for the Nuggets, while Michael Porter Junior had 22 points and eight boards.

Anthony Davis led the way for the Lakers with 32 points and 11 rebounds, while LeBron James had 26 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists. But Davis had just eight second-half points, as did D’Angelo Russell, with the Lakers’ offence managing just 40 points in the second half after 59 in the first half.

The Nuggets managed just eight of 34 three-point attempts (23.5 percent), but dominated in the paint with 52 points to the Lakers’ 36.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said: “We might get down by 20 points but we’re not going to roll over. That’s not who we are.”

Denver have now won 10-straight games, and are 7-0 in seven-game series when they’ve taken a 2-0 lead.

Jamal Murray broke the Lakers’ hearts.

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