Murray shakes off early struggles, hits epic game-winner to complete game 2 comeback

Apr 22, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) shoots over Los Angeles
Apr 22, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) shoots over Los Angeles / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The scenes at Ball Arena were legendary on Monday night as the Nuggets completed an amazing second-half comeback to topple the Lakers 101-99. Jamal Murray capped things off with an incredible fadeaway baseline jumper over a fully extended Anthony Davis as the final buzzer sounded.

Murray finished with just 20 points and shot 3/16 in the first three quarters, but he scored 14 in the fourth quarter including the biggest bucket of the game. The Nuggets have now beaten the Lakers 10 straight times and they lead this first round best of seven series 2-0.

The Lakers will head back home for games 3 and 4 with a chance to even things up at home, but this was an incredibly demoralizing loss. Anthony Davis played about as well as he possibly could on both ends, scoring inside and out while playing incredible defense on Nikola Jokic.

LeBron James turned back the clock with a great game of his own, plus D’Angelo Russell had a massive bounce-back performance, giving the Lakers excellent contributions. The Nuggets role players weren’t making threes and Murray was having a brutal game. This all led to a 20-point Lakers lead and it seemed like they were well on their way to evening this series and finally beating the Nuggets.

But beyond Murray’s heroics, Jokic was his typically unbelievable self putting up 27 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists. Michael Porter Jr. also had a huge game for Denver, scoring 22 points and hitting six threes. MPJ carried the team for stretches when it seemed like nothing else was going right and he hit a massively clutch three with just over a minute left to tie the game.

I’m not sure what more the Lakers can even do. They had everything going in their favor and yet, the Nuggets were still able to walk down the lead and out-execute the Lakers when it mattered most. This has been the story of this matchup for the past two seasons and this game - and fourth quarter especially - felt like an encapsulation of the last 10 games these teams have played against each other.

What a game, what a moment, what a comeback, what a shot by Murray. What a damn team. Will the Lakers ever beat the Nuggets again?