NBA: Davis nails game-winner, lifts Lakers to 2-0 lead over Nuggets


Posted at Sep 21 2020 10:17 AM | Updated as of Sep 21 2020 11:02 AM

Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after hitting the game-winning three-pointer against the Denver Nuggets during Game One of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs on September 20, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. Jesse D. Garrabrant, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

(UPDATED) Anthony Davis hit the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer, and the Los Angeles Lakers claimed a 105-103 victory over the gutsy Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.

The thrilling victory gave the Lakers a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series and put them two wins away from their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010.

Los Angeles also averted a stunning collapse, as they led by as much as 16 points in the game and were up by eight with three minutes left, 100-92, before Nikola Jokic willed the Nuggets back in the contest.

Davis, playing in the conference finals for the first time in his career, finished with 31 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal. LeBron James got the Lakers off to a hot start and wound up with 26 points, 11 boards, and four dimes.

The Lakers were in control for most of the way, but Jokic waxed hot in the closing stretch, engaging Davis in a scoring duel.

He gave the Nuggets the lead with 31.8 ticks left after a tip-in, only to see Davis score on the other end with a runner for a 102-101 count with 26.7 seconds to go.

Off a timeout, Jokic again came up big, with a hook shot over Davis to put the Nuggets ahead, 103-102. Alex Caruso missed a triple on the other end, but the Lakers retained possession with 2.1 seconds left.

That was enough time for Davis to break free from Mason Plumlee's defense, and he coolly drilled the shot that gave the Lakers the win.

"This is what they brought me here for, to make big time plays," said Davis after the game. 

Davis also noted that they were once again wearing the "Black Mamba" jerseys to honor the late Lakers icon Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, who both perished in a helicopter crash in California last January.

"Obviously we're wearing the Mamba jerseys and we never want to lose in these jerseys," added Davis, who had Los Angeles' final 10 points of the contest.

It was a gut-punch of a loss for the Nuggets, who once again showed tremendous grit in fighting back from a 16-point deficit.

Jokic finished with 30 points, scoring Denver's last 13 points, while also adding nine assists, six rebounds, and four steals. Jamal Murray had 25 points, six rebounds, and four assists.