Den­ver holds off L.A., trails 2­1 in the se­ries

San Francisco Chronicle - - SPORTS -

Ja­mal Mur­ray had 28 points, 12 as­sists and two late 3­point­ers to halt a Lak­ers charge, help­ing the Den­ver Nuggets to a 114106 vic­tory Tues­day night in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., that cut Los Angeles’ lead to 2­1 in the Western Con­fer­ence fi­nals.

The Nuggets lost al­most all of a 20­point lead in the fourth quar­ter but still pre­vailed avoid­ing a 3­0 hole that would have been daunt­ing even for this never­out­of­it team.

Den­ver has set a record by eras­ing two 3­1 deficits in this post­sea­son, but no NBA team has ever come back from 3­0.

Jerami Grant added a play­off ­areer­high 26 points and Nikola Jo­kic had 22 points and 10 re­bounds for the Nuggets, who will try to even the se­ries in Game 4 on Thurs­day.

Lebron James had 30 points, 11 as­sists and 10 re­bounds for the Lak­ers, who re­main two wins from their first NBA Fi­nals ap­pear­ance in a decade. An­thony Davis, who made the win­ning 3­pointer at the buzzer in Game 2, scored 27 points.

Next sea­son: Com­mis­sioner Adam Sil­ver doesn’t ex­pect next sea­son to be­gin un­til 2021.

Sil­ver told CNN’S Bob Costas on Tues­day that his “best guess” is the com­ing NBA sea­son will start in Jan­uary at the ear­li­est.

The NBA and NBPA will de­cide on a new start date for the sea­son. The start of the NBA sea­son usu­ally be­gins in Oc­to­ber, but it had been resched­uled for Dec. 1 be­cause of the NBA shut­down be­fore be­ing pushed back again be­cause of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

The league wants to play a stan­dard sea­son, which would in­clude an 82­game reg­u­lar sea­son and full post­sea­son. The goal is play games in home are­nas in front of fans.

“There’s still a lot that we need to learn in terms of rapid test­ing, for ex­am­ple,” Sil­ver said. “Would that be a means of get­ting fans into our build­ings? Will there be other pro­tec­tions?”

Around 40% of the league’s once­pro­jected $8 bil­lion in rev­enue comes from hav­ing fans in at­ten­dance.

Dono­van to Chicago:

The Bulls hired Billy Dono­van as their head coach.

The 55­year­old spent the past five sea­sons with the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der. He re­places Jim Boylen, who was fired af­ter the Bulls fin­ished 22­43 and were one of the eight teams that didn’t qual­ify for the NBA’S restart at Walt Dis­ney World.

Mark J. Terrill / As­so­ci­ated Press

Den­ver guard Ja­mal Mur­ray hits a 3­pointer in the sec­ond half of the Nuggets’ win. He had 28 points. Game 4 of the Western Con­fer­ence fi­nals is Thurs­day.

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