Lakers look to regain confidence
The Nuggets don’t sound like an underdog.
Jamal Murray believes they should be leading theWestern Conference finals. They aren’t, though they say there is still a longway to go in the series.
If the Lakers don’t start playing better, theNuggets might be right. Outplayed for much of the last 11⁄
2 games, the top-seededLakers look to regain control of the series when the teams play Game 4 on Thursday night.
The Lakerswere carelesswith the ball and not disciplined enough on defense in Game 2, when they needed Anthony Davis’ 3-pointer as time expired to avoid a loss. Instead of cutting down on their turnovers and fouls, the Lakers repeated them inGame3, helping theNuggets build a big lead on their way to a 114-106 win that cut the Lakers’ lead to 2-1.
“It’s not going to be winning ingredients for us if we continue to do that andwe knew that. Even after Game 2, we talked about that,” LeBron James said. “Got to be better than that Game 4.”
The third-seeded Nuggets have been behind by two games in all three playoff series, so they were stung but not sunk when Davis denied them in Game 2. They came back and controlled much of Game 3 and responded with poise after their one faulty stretch, when the Lakers cut a 20-point deficit to three.
“This gives us that much more confidence going into this series, letting them know that we’re here, we’re in this for the long haul,” Nuggets coach MichaelMalone said
The Lakers easily recovered from their other two losses in the playoffs. They dropped Game 1 against the Trail Blazers in the first round and won the next four. When they lost Game 1 again in the second round against the Rockets, they followed with six straight victories, so aren’t going to overreact to another defeat.
“We’re still up 2-1. We have control of the series,” Davis said. “We’ve just got to come out in Game 4 and play our style of basketball.”