Anthony Davis After Game 3 Loss To Nuggets: 'I Can't Have Two Rebounds For An Entire Game'
It's a series.
The Lakers, who entered Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets with a 2-0 series lead, were close to the kill punch: No team has ever comeback from a 3-0 deficit.
Even the Nuggets didn't want to test that stat.
They played for their playoffs lives Tuesday, leading by as much as 20 points against the top-seeded Lakers en route to a 114-106 win, putting the series at 2-1.
The Nuggets went on a 17-2 run in the third quarter to take a 91-71 lead with 1 minute and 35 seconds left.
But the Lakers clawed their way out of that hole, responding with a 19-2 run in the fourth quarter to cut their deficit to three points, 99-96, with just over six minutes remaining.
Down the stretch, Jamal Murray made two huge three-pointers to give the Nuggets the victory.
"First three quarters, they were more physical than us," Anthony Davis said. "They played more desperation. They played harder. They were getting 50/50 basketballs. They were the aggressors and it showed in the first three. And at the end of fourth quarter, we started playing our style of basketball, cut it to three, and had a chance to take the lead. But when you're down 20 and you're trying to battle back, everything has to go right. Kind of have to have a perfect storm. We had opportunities, and then they made plays at the end."
The Lakers struggled in a couple of categories.
They were outrebounded, 44-25. They were outshot from beyond the arc, 37.9 percent to 23.1 percent. They sent the Nuggets to the free-throw line 29 times, where they converted 23 shots. And they had 16 turnovers, on which the Nuggets scored 25 points.
Davis had 27 points, but only two rebounds.
He was clearly not happy with his stat-line, experiencing a stark turnaround from the high he had after Game 2 when he made the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer.
"Have to do a better job on the glass personally," Davis said. "I can't have two rebounds for an entire game. So, I might be better in that aspect, but unacceptable. I mean, there's not really much I can say. I just have to do better."
LeBron James finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, marking his 26th career triple-double in the playoffs. He's second in NBA history, behind Magic Johnson, who had 30.
Murray finished with 28 points on 10-for-17 shooting, including making four of his eight three-point attempts, 12 assists and eight rebounds.
Nikola Jokic added 22 points and 10 rebounds. And the Nuggets got a huge boost from Jerami Grant, who had 26 points on seven-for-11 shooting.
The Lakers know they have to come out better in Game 4 on Thursday.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said they "dodged a bullet" in Game 3, but things finally caught up with them.
They can't relax for a moment against a team that has come back from two-straight 3-1 series deficits in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
But the Lakers are far from concerned.
When Davis was asked how the Lakers regain control of the series, he didn't hesitate in his response.
"We're still up 2-1," Davis said. "We have control of the series. We just got to come out in Game 4 and play our style of basketball."