Dribbles: Swish goes Davis, as Lakers rise after taking Nuggets' best shot
Random dribbles following the Los Angeles Lakers' buzzer-beating 105-103 win over the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals on Sunday night.
1. Down one point. Two seconds left. It's a no-brainer. If you're the Lakers, you want the ball going to LeBron James. Right?
3. Well, actually, not wrong. The final out-of-bounds play was indeed designed to get the ball to James. Instead, it was Anthony Davis who received the bounce pass from Rajon Rondo, stationed beneath the basket.
4. Davis caught it, went straight up, and managed to get the shot off over Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.
5. Swish. Game over. And Lakers lead the series, 2-0.
6. Just before that, Jokic scored over Davis to give the Nuggets the lead. Davis was mad. He told TNT that Rondo told him, "Get it back." So it was almost as if Rondo knew he was going to pass to Davis. He wanted to give Davis a shot at revenge -- and to win the game.
7. Remember, this is Davis' first run in LA and first trip to the conference finals. A lot of people wondered if he'd be ready for the challenge.
8. Davis to TNT on that very topic: "People talk about never being in this moment (before), the pressure, and am I ready for it? I want to take those shots. It's part of your legacy. I want those shots, I want the big-time plays. ... I made it. That's why they brought me here, to make big-time plays. "
9. Overall, the Lakers didn't play that well. They committed as many turnovers as they compiled assists (23 apiece). They blew a 12-point lead early in the third quarter. They were up eight points with 3:00 left in the game. Yet they found themselves needing a miracle shot from Davis.
10. But hey, like he said, he made it.
11. Davis finished with 31 points, one game after erupting for 37 and 10 rebounds. He grabbed nine boards in Game 2.
12. LeBron on Davis' game-winner: "It's not about making the shot, it's about having the belief, just taking it, and living with the result."
13. James got things started by scoring often and early, He went for 20 points in the first half, on 8-of-11 shooting. He finished with 26 (and a game-high 11 rebounds), though struggled to the tune of 2-of-9 from the field in the second half.
14. This one has to hurt for the Nuggets. Game 1 was a route. But this time, Jokic nearly carried them to victory, scoring 11 straight points. If the game had lasted two seconds less, the series would be tied.
15. Jokic finished with 30. Jamal Murray scored 25. Michael Porter Jr. added 15, but overall, the Nuggets clearly need on more person to consistently produce.
16. Davis to TNT on the Nuggets: "That's a hell of a team. They keep fighting. They fought all the way to the last shot."
17. That is entirely true. But it may not be enough. Davis' buzzer-beater makes you think the Lakers are a team of destiny. They took the Nuggets' best shot and swatted it away, sank a needed shot of their own and still have the two best players remaining in the entire playoffs.
18. Aside from James, former Cavs guard Danny Green (11 points) gave an underrated showing, while guards J.R. Smith (coach's decision) and Dion Waiters (groin) did not play.
19. Game 3 is Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST on TNT. Follow SI Lakers reporter Melissa Rohlin for more on this series.