Behind Murray’s 37, Nuggets one win from Finals-News

ANGEL — Jamal Murray scored 37 points, Nikola Jokic added 24 points and eight assists, and Denver Nuggets took a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals with a 119-108 victory over Los Angeles Lakers Saturday night.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope he scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half against his former team the top-ranked Nuggets, who have never been close to the NBA Finals in 47 years in the league.

Denver took a commanding lead in Game 3, but went on an emphatic 13-0 run in the fourth quarter to snap their nine-game hitting streak against the Lakers since March 26, including seven straight since regulation time.

No team has gone 3-0 in the playoffs in NBA history. Game 4 is Monday night in Los Angeles.

Anthony Davis he had 28 points and 18 rebounds for the seventh-ranked Lakers, who hadn’t lost three straight games since early February. Los Angeles’ long streak since the trade deadline came to an end against the Nuggets, who have won five games in a row.

LeBron James had 23 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds in Los Angeles, hitting three 3-pointers after starting the series 0 for 13 from long range. Austin Reaves added 23 points and seven rebounds, but Rui Hachimura he was the Lakers’ only scorer in double figures with 13 points.

Jokic’s streak of four consecutive games ended in a quiet game for the two-time MVP. But Murray’s 17 points in a strong first quarter followed his 23 points in the fourth quarter two nights ago, and he had 30 points at halftime in Game 3.

Bruce Brown scored 15 points and hit a key 3-pointer down the Nuggets floor in front of Jokic who all but iced the 3-pointer with 3:17 to play.

Lakers fans attended the last 17 games of their first home conference since 2010, the year of their last title. Los Angeles tried desperately to get back into the series, with James playing 43 minutes after spraining his left foot in Game 2 on top of his already sore right foot.

But the Nuggets’ run to the beach didn’t cool Murray one bit: After torching the Lakers to close out Game 2, the Canadian guard shot five in Game 3 and poured in 17 points in the first quarter — even as Jokic went scoreless for the second straight quarter.

Murray’s fourth 3-pointer of the night made him 11 of 13 from the field for 26 points midway through the second quarter, scoring more than half of Denver’s points at an incredible pace. Reaves and Davis kept the Lakers in it, with Reaves tallying 15 points, three assists and three rebounds in the second quarter alone.

Hachimura’s 3-pointer at the beginning of the fourth quarter gave the Lakers their first lead since the opening minutes, but the Nuggets took the lead in the meetings highlighted by Brown’s 3-pointer with 7:02 to play, after which he mocked the Lakers’ bench and. Los Angeles’ “Freeze” 3-point celebration.

D’Angelo Russell had another tough game for the Lakers, scoring three points on 1-of-8 shooting in 20 minutes. Russell was the Lakers’ biggest addition during the trade deadline, but the point guard has only 21 points in these three games.

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