The Denver Nuggets started the first quarter of Game 2 against the Los Angeles Lakers where they left off in Game 1. They were called for six fouls in the first seven minutes of the game with Michael Porter Jr. and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each picking up two a piece. Denver was struggling to score, and the Lakers were gradually putting up points while taking advantage of the trips to the charity stripe. For the entirety of the first quarter, offense was a struggle for Denver, but they were hanging around, and the two sides would go into the second quarter tied at 27.

In the second quarter, it was more of the same for the Nuggets. Every time they would get a bucket or two to fall, the Lakers would answer with a run of their own to keep them at bay. MPJ was called for his third foul in the corner, and he was likely going to be on the bench for the remainder of the half. Nikola Jokic was doing everything he could on the offensive end to keep the Nuggets in it, but the shooting woes of everyone else around him, including Jamal Murray, who was 3-of-13 in the first half, were holding the team back. The Lakers got some strong shooting from Rui Hachimura in the first half, and they rode that to a 53-48 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, the Nuggets were finally getting things to go their way in the quarter. They started the quarter slow, but they started to string together wins on both ends of the floor. At one point, the Nuggets went on a 10-0 run in under two minutes to work their way all the way back into the game. The shooters had awakened, and the tide was beginning to shift. For the first time since the first quarter, the Nuggets were able to tie the game at 74, but they weren’t able to retake that lead quite yet. The two sides traded buckets late in the quarter, and the Nuggets were trailing 79-76 heading into the fourth quarter with some momentum finally on their side.

In the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter, the Nuggets’ defense had finally been awakened. They outscored the Lakers 23-8 over that span, and they were 7-of-10 from 3-point range in that span while the Lakers were just 1-of-5 from the floor. Denver was leading 99-91 with under four minutes remaining, and they needed a strong few minutes on both ends of the floor to secure the win. Almost on cue, the Lakers went on a 9-0 run over a 90-second span, and it was a five-point game. The Nuggets were leading by five, and they had opportunities over the next couple of minutes to really ice the game. They couldn’t get the shots to fall, and the Lakers got a huge triple from Austin Reaves to make it a two-point game. Murray got to the line where he made both shots, and it was a four-point game. Denver forced a miss, but they couldn’t get ball over halfcourt without dribbling which resulted in a timeout. Murray threw the ball away with a steal by LeBron James, but he missed the layup. The Nuggets rebounded the ball, and Murray made it a six-point game with 25 seconds left while the teams were trading baskets in the final minute. Following two more free throws, Murray was up to 23 points in the quarter while giving the team a five-point lead. The Nuggets had come back, and they would hang on to win 108-103.

Stat Leaders

Points: Jamal Murray – 37

Assists: Nikola Jokic – 12

Rebounds: Jokic 17

Player of the Game: Jamal Murray – 37 points, 5 assists, 10 rebounds, 11-of-24 field goal, 6-of-14 3-point, 9-of-10 free throw