Why did the Nuggets bet big on R.J. Hampton? Because “he’s going to be an All-Star” — The Denver Post

The Denver Nuggets never thought they’d have a shot at R.J. Hampton.

Why did the Nuggets bet big on R.J. Hampton? Because “he’s going to be an All-Star” — The Denver Post

Nuggets at ease with Jrue Holiday result with NBA draft on deck — The Denver Post

The Nuggets entered the Jrue Holiday sweepstakes from a position of power. There wasn’t imminent pressure to do anything, let alone an unspoken mandate from a franchise cornerstone.

Nuggets at ease with Jrue Holiday result with NBA draft on deck — The Denver Post

Nuggets’ Jamal Murray names Steph Curry as his hardest player to guard in the NBA — Warriors Wire

When asked who is his hardest player to guard in the NBA, Jamal Murray landed on Golden State’s two-time Most Valuable Player Steph Curry.

Nuggets’ Jamal Murray names Steph Curry as his hardest player to guard in the NBA — Warriors Wire

LeBron James punches out Nuggets in Game 5, Lakers punch ticket to NBA Finals — Press Telegram

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. >> The Lakers have always — one way or another — found a way to float to the NBA’s biggest stage. A decade was long enough to wait. LeBron James made sure it wouldn’t be any longer. After a jaunt through NBA history, the Denver Nuggets met the one thing they…

LeBron James punches out Nuggets in Game 5, Lakers punch ticket to NBA Finals — Press Telegram

Alexander: A full calendar year later, the Lakers will play for a title — Daily News

Sunday is a year, to the day, since the Lakers held their media day at their El Segundo training center to ring in the 2019-20 season. One year, to the day, since the official beginning of the LeBron James/Anthony Davis combo, and the intrigue over whether the organization had put enough other pieces in place…

Alexander: A full calendar year later, the Lakers will play for a title — Daily News

What they’re saying before Game 5 between the Lakers, Nuggets — Daily News

Follow Southern California Newspaper Group’s Kyle Goon as he covers the Lakers Inside the Bubble in Orlando. Updates and social media reaction of Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals best-of-seven playoff series between the Lakers and Nuggets. Previews and what they’re saying before Game 5 between the Lakers, Nuggets Lakers closeout reputation will clash…

What they’re saying before Game 5 between the Lakers, Nuggets — Daily News

Denver’s Jamal Murray climbs up reputation rung in NBA playoffs — Daily News

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. >> However these Western Conference Finals turn out, observers will agree on at least one thing: Jamal Murray has raised his game. The fourth-year guard is the highest draft pick on the Denver Nuggets’ roster, landed at No. 7 in 2016. At the time, Nuggets coach Michael Malone thought he was…

Denver’s Jamal Murray climbs up reputation rung in NBA playoffs — Daily News

Lakers hold off Nuggets in Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead — Press Telegram

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. >> Either the Lakers are poised to do what no team has done yet in these playoffs, or the Denver Nuggets are positioned right where they want to be. After a Game 4 dogfight Thursday, which saw Anthony Davis and LeBron James wrestle for 60 combined points and hold off an…

Lakers hold off Nuggets in Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead — Press Telegram

What they’re saying before Lakers, Nuggets, Game 4 — Press Telegram

Follow Southern California Newspaper Group’s Kyle Goon as he covers the Lakers Inside the Bubble in Orlando. Updates and social media reaction of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals best-of-seven playoff series between the Lakers and Nuggets. The Lakers lead the series, 2-1. Tip-off at 6 p.m. PREVIEWS AND WHAT THEY’RE SAYING BEFORE THE…

What they’re saying before Lakers, Nuggets, Game 4 — Press Telegram

Attacking Jamal Murray sparks Nuggets, who hold off Lakers for Game 3 win — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Jamal Murray attacked from the opening tip and set the tone for Denver.

Attacking Jamal Murray sparks Nuggets, who hold off Lakers for Game 3 win — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Attacking Jamal Murray sparks Nuggets, who hold off Lakers for Game 3 win

By Kurt HelinSep 23, 2020, 1:05 AM EDT

Down 0-2 to a LeBron James team, the Denver Nuggets backs were against the wall.

The Lakers learned — like the Jazz and Clippers before them — that the Nuggets have a couple more gears when their season is threatened.

Jamal Murray attacked from the opening tip, set the tone for Denver, then when the Lakers made it interesting late, stuck the dagger in the Los Angeles.

Murray POURING IT ON 🤯 pic.twitter.com/lqHEAhVSfw

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) September 23, 2020

“I didn’t have any doubt we were going to show up tonight,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone said postgame. “The reason I didn’t have any doubt is we won six straight elimination games…

“For some reason, this team loves the bubble.”

Denver pulled away from the Lakers in the second quarter and held on at the end to take a 114-106 win in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.

The Lakers still lead the series 2-1, with Game 4 Thursday night.

Murray was the best player on the floor in Game 3, scoring 28 points, dishing 12 assists, grabbing eight rebounds, and forcing the Lakers’ defense to adjust to him.

“When you look at these three series we’ve played so far, he’s starting to get the respect from the other teams, and they’re game-planning, they’re blitzing him, they’re double-teaming.”

Both Denver and the Lakers came out attacking the paint early: The teams combined for 56 first-quarter points, and they scored 34 of them in the paint (60.7%)

In the second quarter, however, the Lakers started settling for jumpers while the Nuggets kept attacking. Denver went on a 15-2 run to start the quarter — with Nikola Jokic on the bench — and Denver went on to dominate the next two quarters, leading by as many as 20.

The Nuggets got a big night from Jerami Grant, who had career playoff hight 26 points. Jokic added 22 plus 10 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Lakers could not get jump shots to fall. Los Angeles was 6-of-26 from three (23.1%), and worse, they scored 12 points on 24 spot-up shot attempts (stat via Synergy Sports).

LeBron James did his part — a triple-double of 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists — and Anthony Davis added 27, but the Lakers defensive energy, and with that transition buckets, were not there.

Until the fourth quarter.

The Lakers got much more physical and aggressive defensively, and the Lakers went on a 19-2 run, which included six straight Nuggets turnovers at one point. The Lakers went to a zone defense that flummoxed Denver.

Eventually, Murray and Jokic righted the ship. Denver stretched the lead back out and got the win. After the game, the Lakers to a man said they needed to bring that fourth-quarter energy all game on Thursday.

One thing talked about after the game was Murray’s elbow to LeBron.https://www.youtube.com/embed/TwTpUdrGXZE

“I don’t think it was blatant. I don’t know his mindset, but I don’t think he did it on purpose,” LeBron said postgame.

The other thing talked about postgame — now we have a series.

Tags: Anthony DavisJamal MurrayJerami GrantLeBron JamesNikola JokicLeave a commen

Alexander: No, the Lakers’ Anthony Davis did not break Denver’s spirit — Press Telegram

Is it fair to say now that Sunday’s frantic finish was not much more than fool’s gold for the Lakers? Anthony Davis’ buzzer-beating 3-pointer to knock off Denver in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals camouflaged some issues with turnovers, fouls, defensive breakdowns and general sloppiness. Frank Vogel hoped those flaws, pointed out in…

Alexander: No, the Lakers’ Anthony Davis did not break Denver’s spirit — Press Telegram

Keeler: Anthony Davis just ripped out the Nuggets’ hearts. And it feels like basketball gods have finally turned their backs on Michael Malone. — The Denver Post

It’s one thing to get dragged behind the woodshed. It’s another to ball out, as these Nuggets did Sunday, to leave everything out there, to clean up old mistakes, to get stops, to force turnovers, to get to the line, to surpass the Lakers’ intensity … … and then have Anthony Davis plunge a dagger in between your shoulder blades.

Keeler: Anthony Davis just ripped out the Nuggets’ hearts. And it feels like basketball gods have finally turned their backs on Michael Malone. — The Denver Post