Lakers edge Nuggets for 2-0 lead in NBA Western Conference finals

Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis shoots between Denver Nuggets' PJ Dozier, left, and Nikola Jokic (15) during Game 2 of their NBA conference final playoff basketball game on Sept. 20, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Short Url
Updated 21 September 2020

Lakers edge Nuggets for 2-0 lead in NBA Western Conference finals

  • Anthony Davis made a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Lakers a 2-point win
  • Game 3 is on Tuesday night

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida: Anthony Davis made a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Los Angeles Lakers a 105-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night and a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.
Davis finished with 31 points. He scored Los Angeles’ last 10 points and had 22 in the second half to help the Lakers avoid becoming the latest victim of a Denver comeback.
The Nuggets had trailed by as much as 16, but Nikola Jokic scored 11 straight Denver points down the stretch, including a basket that made it 103-102 with 20 seconds to play.
Alex Caruso then missed a 3-pointer and Jamal Murray blocked Danny Green’s shot out of bounds with 2.1 seconds to play. Rajon Rondo inbounded under the basket and found Davis curling toward the sideline, and the All-Star forward swished it to put the Lakers halfway to the NBA Finals.
LeBron James had 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers.
Jokic had 30 points and nine assists, and Murray scored 25 points.
Game 3 is Tuesday night.
James carried the Lakers early, with 20 points in the first half. But they went more in the second half to Davis, who had 37 in an easy Game 1 victory.
This one was much tighter and appeared it would be another huge rally by the Nuggets, who were down 16, 19 and 12 in the final three games against the Clippers, when they erased a 3-1 deficit.
They had climbed all the way out this hole when Murray scored for an 87-86 lead with 7:26 to play. But Green and Rondo hit 3-pointers and, after a basket by PJ Dozier, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made another 3 to make it 95-89.
It was 100-92 after another 3 by Davis before Jokic answered with nine straight, tipping in a miss by Murray to give Denver a 101-100 edge with 31 seconds to play. Davis put the Lakers back on top with a basket in the lane, but Jokic backed him down on the other end to put the Nuggets back on top with 20 seconds remaining.
James started 5 of 6 while the rest of the Lakers missed their first 12 shots before Green’s layup 7 1/2 minutes in gave them a 14-12 lead.
The lead was five midway through the second quarter before the Lakers had an 11-0 run that featured a steal and dunk and a 3-pointer by Alex Caruso that pushed it to 52-36 with about 4 minutes remaining in the half. Denver trimmed it to 60-50 at the break.

TIP-INS
Nuggets: Denver is 8-8 in this postseason. ... Michael Porter Jr. had 15 points. ... Dozier was 1 for 5 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
Lakers: Los Angeles missed nine of its first 10 shots. ... Green and Caldwell-Pope both scored 11 points.

BUZZER BEATERS
The Lakers said Davis was just the seventh Laker to make a buzzer-beater in the playoffs, a list that includes playoffs. Also on the list: Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Derek Fisher, Robert Horry and Metta World Peace.

THROUGH THIRTY
This was the 30th postseason game between the Lakers and Nuggets. The Lakers lead 23-7 and have won all six series.


Valtteri Bottas on pole at Imola with Lewis Hamilton alongside

Updated 31 October 2020

Valtteri Bottas on pole at Imola with Lewis Hamilton alongside

  • Bottas pips Hamilton to pole at Imola as Mercedes lock out front row
  • Champions can clinch seventh constructors' title in a row

IMOLA: Valtteri Bottas powered to pole position for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola on Saturday with the Finn's team mate and Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton locking out the front row for dominant Mercedes.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen qualified third, after a power unit scare in the second phase sent mechanics scrambling to fix his car, with AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly a stunning fourth on the grid.
Mercedes need only a fourth place finish in Sunday's race to secure a record seventh successive constructors' world championship.
The pole, with a time of one minute 13.609 seconds, was a 13th in 13 races this season for the champions.
Sunday's race will be the first grand prix at Imola since 2006, with the track returning to flesh out a calendar ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the third in Italy this season.
"This track, when you push flat out, it's beautiful. I knew I had to improve in the last lap and I found those small gains that were needed," said Bottas, who was 0.097 quicker than Hamilton.
"It's a great feeling when you get those.
"It's going to be a good fight. It's one of the longest runs in the calendar into Turn One so no doubt Lewis and Max will be chasing me, but it's a good place to start and hopefully the pace is good."
Hamilton leads Bottas by 77 points, having won eight times so far this season, and is closing on a record-equalling seventh drivers' title although he will have to wait at least until Turkey in two weeks' time for a chance to clinch it.
"Valtteri did a great job. It was a pretty poor lap from myself. These things happen, you can't always get it perfect," said Hamilton, who had been quickest after the first flying laps in phase three.