The Denver Nuggets nearly blew a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter, but they withheld a 19-2 run by the Los Angeles Lakers to hold on for the 114-106 victory in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Jamal Murray scored 28 points and knocked down two step-back 3-pointers to thwart the Lakers and seal the victory for the Nuggets.

Jamal Murray Denver Nuggets LA Lakers
Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray dunks against the LA Lakers in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. (Image: Garrett Ellwood/Getty)

The Lakers led the series 2-0 coming into Game 3. The Nuggets were a +6.5 underdog and wanted to avoid a dreaded 0-3 hole. They had plenty of success rallying back from 3-1, but they wanted to avoid an 0-3 start.

The Nuggets took a 10-point lead into halftime, which they extended to 18 points by the end of the third quarter. Instead of the Nuggets playing the role of comeback kids, the Lakers were ready to launch their counterattack. After they pulled within three points, the Lakers looked gassed, especially LeBron James. At that point, Murray took over and put the game out of reach.

Murray hasn’t avoided the spotlight in the postseason. Unlike other hyped stars who disappeared in the fourth quarter of games, Murray’s unleashed a couple of 50-point games already in the NBA Bubble in Orlando.

Mile-High Murray

The Lakers had an awful third quarter that spilled into the fourth quarter. With 10:36 to go, Murray threw down a monstrous dunk that rattled every bong from Denver to Aspen. That throwdown put the Nuggets up by 20 points, 97-77.

Murray the Sniper

The Lakers eradicated a 20-point lead with ease. The Nuggets went cold while Playoff Rondo emerged with consecutive steals to help chip away at the lead. With the Lakers surging and the Nuggets on the verge of imploding, a steely-eyed Murray took matters into his own hands.

With 2:20 remaining and the Lakers within four points, Murray knocked down a step-back three-pointer over a dumbfounded Alex Caruso to extend Denver’s lead to seven, 106-99.

Step-Back Dagger

With less than a minute remaining, Murray put the Nuggets back over double-digits with a rainbow trey over AD from way, way, way downtown.