Epic: Davis rescues the Lakers with a triple over the horn

The power forward scores the last 10 points for the Angelenos and makes it 2-0 in the West final. The Nuggets had rallied 16 points.


The apparent immortality of the Denver Nuggets seemed poised to make headlines again until Anthony Davis changed the script. The Rockies won 102-103 after another admirable exercise in resilience. Beyond clever adjustments and functional changes from their lousy first game of the West final, they once again demonstrated their enormous heart, their ability to rise above the occasion: they came back (a story the Clippers know well) 16 points in the second half (from 70-54 to 86-87) and they positioned themselves for the miracle after converting a 100-92 with three minutes remaining in that quoted 102-103. After a partial 0-9 (2-11 total) and with the final eleven points of a Nikola Jokic who always seems the most tired ... but who is usually the last to die. Perhaps because he is the one who depends the least on his legs to play.

The Nuggets had done their part in another chapter of their tremendous history in these playoffs ... but Anthony Davis changed the script. In the last attack, Caruso missed a freed front triple and Murray hindered enough on Danny Green's attack rebound. The Angelenos' throw-in ended up in the hands of Davis, who from the left side scored a beautiful triple over the horn and over Jokic's endless arm. Suspended in the air, with the aesthetics of a forward (the privilege of a gifted player), he added a basket to remember and sentenced the game. Not only that: he was the only Lakers player to score from 95-89 with 5:40 left. Only 10 points, all yours; Two triples, two free throws and a penetration basket in the absence of 26 seconds (102-101), the previous one to the triple of poster that is worth 2-0 and we will see how much of the ticket to the Finals.

Because on the one hand it's impossible not to think that the faith of the Nuggets could have died with that shot. That their legs will begin to realize that they have gone beyond the limit with this terrible blow of reality that took 1-1 from their hands. Literally. They have been in these playoffs for 16 games, have come back from 3-1 twice and are now 2-0 against the Lakers' pylon hammer. It may all have come this far ... but it may not. Those of Michael Malone have proven their ability to respond to these psychological blows, to return for another battle, and another and another ... And, all things considered, they collapsed the Lakers by closing the paint. Without the highways of the first game to the basket, his rival was obfuscated. With LeBron James unrecognizable in the fourth quarter (one basket, two losses), the 1-1 was in his pocket… until the very last second. Tomorrow Tuesday (03:00 Spanish time) we will know if the Nuggets have found a way and there is still a series (they also have to find strength) or if their fate was sealed in that majestic triple by Anthony Davis. It is not convenient, just in case, to bet a lot of money against them ...

But not against the Lakers, of course. With the glass half empty, they found very real (very, very) problems and a legitimate plan from their rival to harm them. But all things considered, of course, they won on a day when they were going to lose. And that in the playoffs is priceless: the 2-0 leaves them two steps away from their first Finals in a decade. And it forces the Nuggets to win four games out of five to a team with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It is the sixth consecutive victory for the Lakers since losing the first semifinal game against the Rockets, and many predicted serious problems. It's a 10-2 total in the playoffs. And, a fact that impresses and that was about to jump this time through the air, is a 51-0 in the whole season when they arrive ahead at the beginning of the fourth quarter.The Nuggets closed under their rim and received, almost a cruel irony, five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter (including two from Anthony Davis in the closing minutes). They needed almost 40 minutes from Jokic (30 points, 9 assists, a heroic finish) and more than 44 from Murray (25 points). From the bench, Porter Jr contributed and appeared in the last quarter Dozier, an unexpected guest ... They felt that things were turning towards their interests after a couple of comebacks in the second half, but they lost. They were much better than in the first game and showed that they always have more energy than we assume: but they lost.

The Lakers may think they shouldn't have suffered so much after that +16. But this is the end of the West, not a ride through Disney World. It's not supposed to be easy. They lost a lot of balls, maybe they relaxed in a lousy third quarter and did enough wrong things to feel like everything is still under their control. LeBron (26 + 11 + 4) will hardly be so obtuse again in the decisive moment, but Davis (31 + 9) solved a very serious ballot in a game in which no one else was especially good beyond the center and the minutes of Caruso's maximum intensity. It's hard not to think that fresher, with this 2-0 cushion and two thunderous superstars, the Lakers aren't very close to the NBA Finals. But this game showed that, if they have the strength, the Nuggets are going to keep fighting and have the arguments to do so. The point, moreover, is that they always seem to have strength. We will see tomorrow, Tuesday, when they go back out to play between a rock and a hard place. The story of his life.

Photos from as.com
Powered by Blogger.