Must-win game for Lakers in LA
The Lakers are in a must-win situation heading into Game 3. The Nuggets lead the series 2-0, and LA can not afford to go down 3-0.
The good news for the Lakers is they are undefeated at home in the playoffs. However, this is their toughest task yet.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis need dominant performances as the superstar duo. LA will also need to get contributions from their role players. Despite the loss, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura played exceptionally well in Game 2.
They will need them to keep up their play and get production from D’Angelo Russell. Russell has struggled in the series but is one of the Lakers' best players. If Russell can get going, it would help LA out a ton.
Nuggets star Nikola Jokic has been unstoppable in this series. The Lakers can afford to let him dominate as a scorer or a passer but not both. LA needs to let Jokic go one-on-one and not double-team him. When they have doubled him, it has led to open three-point shots for a great shooting team.
4th quarter points in the Western Conference Finals:— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 19, 2023
31 — Jamal Murray
28 — AD and LeBron combined
Jamal has over half the Nuggets 4th quarter points. pic.twitter.com/o4QHdxWUvl
The Lakers also need to contain Jamal Murray. Murray has been sensational, especially in the 4th quarter. If they can make Murray struggle in a game, it would help them earn a victory.
Darvin Ham needs to coach his group to bring the energy and intensity early in this must-win game.
Nuggets protected home court. Now its our time to do the same. MUST WIN. ONE AT A TIME. 😈🙏 pic.twitter.com/tlwuuVLQKj— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) May 20, 2023
It will be tough to win if the Lakers don’t fight for their playoff lives. LeBron James has experience coming back while down in a series, as he has done so multiple times in his career.
Look for the Lakers to play hard from the jump to come away with a must-win on the line in Game 3.