Lakers game 3 vs Nuggets

Keys to Lakers Beating Nuggets in Game 3

20 May, 2023

After falling to the Denver Nuggets in the first two games of the Western Conference Finals in Colorado, the Los Angeles Lakers are suddenly in desperate need of a victory.

LeBron James is reportedly beginning to tire, D’Angelo Russell has performed terribly thus far in this series, and only Rui Hachimura has contributed offensively from the bench.

Fortunately, the Lakers will be playing their next two games at home, where they will enjoy the support of their home crowd and the oxygen-rich Southern Californian air.

With a focus on these three areas, Los Angeles should be able to score early in this series.

Have a successful start

In Game 2, the Lakers did have a decent start, drawing even with Denver in the first quarter before building an 11-point advantage. To win Game 3, they will need another strong opening period.

In connection with it, they can’t allow any significant runs to happen, similar to the 15-1 surge in the fourth quarter that essentially decided Game 2. L.A. must stop the Nuggets from gaining ground if and when they do, in order to at least stay in striking distance.

Contain Jamal Murray

The first two competitions placed a lot of emphasis on this, but no one paid any attention to it. Murray scored 31 points in Game 1 and 37 points in Game 2, 23 of which came in the fourth quarter of Game 2.

Particularly off pick-and-rolls and dribble handoffs, Los Angeles’ defenders on him need to be more forceful and deny him airspace right away.

Nikola Jokic will score, but the Lakers should have a good chance of winning if they can contain Murray to under 25 points, and especially if they can keep him to 20 or fewer.

Russell must have good range

Russell has served as something of a gauge during these playoffs. Since the start of the postseason, the Lakers are 5-1 when he shoots over 45 percent from the field.

He has accumulated eight assists in this series while shooting a collective 7 of 19 from the field overall and 1 of 8 from beyond the arc. He might not require a lot of assists, but he will need to contribute at least 15–18 effective points to his side.

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