With Jamaal Murray, Nikola Jokic and KCB, the Nuggets are preparing for the broom

Rolando del Bosque | ESPN DigitalMay 20, 2023, 11:45 PM ETReading: 4 min.

The Nuggets are on the brink of the NBA Finals with a win over the Lakers

Jamaal Murray scored 37 points, Nikola Jokic added 24 points and eight assists, and the Denver Nuggets blew a 3-0 lead over the Los Angeles Lakers 119-108 in the Western Conference finals.

With the end-to-end domain, The Denver Nuggets are one win away from the 2023 NBA Finals after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 119-108 in Game 3 thanks to a solid first half from Jamaal Murray and strong first halves from Nikola Jokic and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (KCP).

Aside from trailing by a point or two in the third quarter, the Nuggets never saw results in danger despite 20-plus point contributions from Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Austin Reaves.

Here are some of the keys to the Nuckets’ win in Game 3 of the ‘Wild West’ Finals.

Nikola Jokic celebrates during Game 3 of the Western Conference finals between the Nuggets and Lakers.Photo: Getty

1.- No Jokic, yes (with party) Murray

Through the first two games, two-time MVP Nikola Jokic wreaked havoc on the Lakers defense early on; However, in the third game, Jamaal Murray kept up the momentum that ended Game 2 and scored 30 points in the first half, and the yellow and purple had no answer.

In the second half, the Canadian point guard was ‘off’ and erratic, and that’s when KCP and ‘Joker’ figures to back him up. Murray had just seven points over the final two quarters, but the former Lakers KCB poured in 17 points and three rebounds in the third quarter, while Jokic slowly began to wreak havoc on opposing defenses. , six boards and eight assists.

2.- Confusions of Lakers

Contrary to what usually happens when they’re local on Saturday night, the Lakers looked a little bold and erratic in the assist. During the first half, Darwin Ham lost seven balls.

Also, his lead man LeBron James’ contribution has been poor (has been throughout the series), the ‘King’ has had crooked vision when attempting the dribble, and he went 3-9 in this game. -19 in three games so far.

3.- And D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Vanderbilt?

The Lakers point guard and forward were blacked out in Game 3 and never made it to Crypto.com Arena (they are still wanted in the Los Angeles area). Russell left the game with three points, while Vanderbilt, returning as the starter, added two points. His performance was so poor that none of them exceeded 25 minutes on the court, so coach Hamm was forced to use eight elements of the rotation, Rui Hachumira was the most efficient with 17 points.

Not only did the Nuggets steal the Lakers’ undefeated streak at home during the playoffs, but they have them up against the wall and are starting to pick up the broom for what could end up being a humiliating 4-0 for the ‘King’ and his court on Monday.

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