The Nuggets know they’re not the team everyone is talking about but they are using this to their advantage.
Denver have taken a 2-0 series lead over the Lakers following a 132-126 win.
Murray says the team has been using the outside noise as motivation.
“Even when we win, they talk about the other team,” Jamal Murray said after Denver’s Game 2 win. “… It just fuels us a little more. And it’ll be sweeter when we win the chip.”
Murray finished Game 2 with 37 points, ten rebounds, five assists and four steals.
The point guard was instrumental in locking the game away in the fourth as he recorded 23 points.
Denver coach Michael Malone shared similar thoughts to Murray after Game 2 and seemed pretty pleased that his side isn’t fazed by all the Lakers hype and attention.
“You win Game 1 of the playoffs, and all everybody talked about was the Lakers,” Malone. “Let’s be honest, that was a national narrative: The Lakers were fine. They’re down 1-0 but they figured something out. No one talked about that Nikola had a historic performance. He’s got 13 triple-doubles now. Third all-time. What he’s doing is just incredible, but the narrative wasn’t about the Nuggets. The narrative wasn’t about Nikola. The narrative is about the Lakers and their adjustments. So you put that in your pipe, you smoke it, you come back and you know what, we’re going to go up 2-0.”
Jokic is the first player with four straight 20-point triple-doubles in NBA postseason history. In these playoffs alone he also has: most triple-doubles in a playoffs since Wilt, most AST in a season by a center since Wilt, most PTS in a playoff game by a center since Wilt. WILD.
A 2-0 lead is hugely advantageous for the Nuggets but the Lakers can’t be discounted yet as the series heads to Los Angeles for Game 2.
NBA teams have a 6-56 series record all-time when trailing a Conference Finals 2-0. Two of the six series wins were by LeBron James teams in 2007 and 2018.
(Per ESPNStatsInfo) and despite suffering an ankle injury in Game 2, LeBron will be fired up.
Game 3 of the Lakers-Nuggets series will take place on Saturday, May 20 at 5:30PM PDT at Crypto.com arena.