NBA 2024: The Nuggets lead the Lakers 2 to 0 thanks to a buzzer-beater by Jamal Murray

Apr 26, 2024

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DENVER— The Denver Nuggets stunned the visiting Los Angeles Lakers 101-99 on the evening of Monday, taking a 2 to 0 lead throughout their NBA Westerners Tournament championship series. Jamal Murray made a 15-foot step-back basket at the end of the game to pull the team back from a 20-point hole in the second half.

The defending NBA champions defeated the Lakers for the tenth time in a row thanks to Murray’s fadeaway, falling-down game-winning basket, which gave the Nuggets the first lead they had since 5 to 3 in the official opening minutes.

After LeBron James missed a long-range shot with 16 seconds remaining and the score tied at 99, Murray made the game-winning shot.

The Nuggets did not use a timeout after Michael Porter Jr. snatched the rebound with 13 seconds remaining.

Rather than waiting for the buzzer to ring, Murray moved the ball to his right side where Anthony Davis was defending him, took a stride back, and swished the basket. With Ball Arena shaking from the noise of the sellout crowd, Murray, and Davis both went into the Nuggets bench.
Murray finished with twenty points, fourteen of which came in the fourth quarter. Nikola Jokic recorded a triple-double, scoring twenty boards, ten assists, and twenty points overall. For Denver, Aaron Gordon scored 14 points and Porter added 22 points.

D’Angelo Russell scored 23 points and a career-high seven three-pointers, while James finished with 26 points to lead the Lakers, paced by Davis with 32.

The Lakers were ahead 59 to 44 at the half and extended that lead to 68 to 48 two minutes into the second frame. It appears L.A. would triumph against Denver after 494 days. Into the fourth quarter, they were still ahead by ten points.

Coach of the Nuggets Michael Malone declared, “I don’t have a 20-point play.” “You simply have to keep chipping away.”

They eventually tied it at 95 points apiece with a 3-pointer made by Porter with 1:15 remaining.
The layup that Russell made to give L.A. was his biggest basket. 97 to 95 with just one minute remaining. Following James’ foul, Murray made both of his free shots to tie the game once more.
For Los Angeles, James answered with a layup. with forty-eight seconds remaining, but Murray countered him thirty seconds later with a step-back jumper. Subsequently, James missed a long-range shot, Porter grabbed the rebound, and the Denver Denver Nuggets were poised to make one of their biggest shots ever.

Murray, who was 3 of 16 at the beginning of the quarter, went 6 for 8 in the fourth.

The number of attempts of 3-pointers Russell made in the first few minutes of the game matched the total he had made in the Lakers’ previous five postseason games versus Denver. He went 2-for-15 in the championship game of the Western Conference last summer, which resulted in his benching in Game 4, and he made only one of his nine three-pointers in the series opener. He completed 7 out of 11.

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