Nuggets Buzzer Beater Destroys The Lakers

DENVER, CO– Jamal Murray buried a game winning shot over the outstretched arms of Anthony Davis at the buzzer, Nuggets 101 Lakers 99 on Monday, April 22nd. It was pandemonium, the raucous crowd celebrating the improbable win, trailing by 20 in the second half giving the Nuggets a  2-0 series lead. 

“For those that have been following us for a long time, that’s Jamal Murray right there,” Denver coach Michael Malone said.

For Laker Nation, it was sickening to the core. Worst loss since the 2008 NBA Finals, when the Boston Celtics aniahalated the Lakers capturing the NBA Title. Everything went right for the Lakers, and they still felt short. Hopeless is an understatement. 

The Lakers dominated early and took a twenty point lead early in the third quarter, but went cold late in the third quarter and the Nuggets fought back in the game and took their first lead in the second half as time expired as Jamal Murray’s mid-range jumper hit the net.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis had terrific games for the Lakers, and they got plenty of help from D’Angelo Russell who scored 23 and made 7 three-point shots. The extended stretch from the middle of the third quarter to the middle of the fourth was a key time for the Nuggets as their bench outplayed the Lakers and kept them from scoring a baskets for most of the quarter. 

The Lakers almost held on but Jokic fueled the comeback as they chipped into the lead, and Jamal Murray, who had been held in check for most of the game came alive late as he victimized the tired LA defense to take over the game and hit the final shot as time ran out.

It was a great night for  TNT as well as playoff basketball as the Lakers almost pulled off the upset, after the game between the Sixers and the Knicks was decided in the last minute. 

The pick and roll with LeBron and Anthony Davis was very effective as the Nuggets often ended up with Murray on AD in the paint for an easy layup. As the Nuggets tried to adjust to that, it just opened up shots for the other Lakers.

The Lakers went cold in the latter part of the third quarter, and the Nuggets showed signs of life, but they missed quite a few shots as LA still held onto a 10 point lead going into the fourth.

As the fourth quarter started, all of the pretty basketball played earlier got thrown out the window. This wasn’t a game about strategy any more, it was a battle of wills and who could still perform in the thin air after a whole game of going back and forth.

 The Lakers offense went stagnant, and LeBron just decided to take control and hit clutch shots. Jamal Murray, who had been held in check all game, took his shots in the final quarter as the Nuggets chipped into the lead. Jokic took over for the Nuggets as he cut the lead to a single point with 2 minutes left.

The Nuggets comeback was completed with a Michael Porter Jr. triple with just over a minute left, but D’Angelo Russell put LA back in the lead right after that with a layup. It was a back and forth battle in the last minute, but LA missed their last shot.

“They protected their home court,” Lakers guard Austin Reaves said. “We’ve got to go do the same.”

Jamal Murray’s buzzer beater iced the game for the Nuggets 101-99, but it wouldn’t have been possible without Jokic’s 27 point, 10 assist performance that made the game close enough for the heroics to matter.

History repeats itself once more, Jamal Murray spurred a Game 2 comeback in the 2023 Western Conference Finals. Giving the Nuggets a 2-0 series lead. Game 3 is Thursday night, at Arena.