The Los Angeles Lakers began Game 2 vs. the Denver Nuggets with a lot more energy, especially on the glass.
They kept Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon off the offensive glass more often than in Game 1 and held the Nuggets to just seven second-chance points and 11 offensive rebounds.
That’s why, even though they lost another game, Darvin Ham was still proud of his team’s energy and effort, admitting they fell short because of a tough stretch.
“Overall the energy was there, the effort is there, the urgency was there, we just caught a bad stretch.” Darvin Ham is proud of the #Lakers despite the outcome. pic.twitter.com/VIoParGTRZ
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) May 19, 2023
The Lakers led by as many as 11 points at one point, and they looked in control of the game in the second half before Mike Malone’s team stormed right back up.
Jamal Murray scored 23 points in the fourth quarter to bring his team back and secure the win, but the Lakers did a better job defensively.
The Nuggets shot 43% from the floor and 36% from beyond the arc, which is slightly worse than what they did in the first game of the series.
However, the Lakers couldn’t make a three-pointer to save their lives, going just 8-for-30 (26%).
Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves, and Jarred Vanderbilt put up a lot of energy on both ends of the floor, and the Lakers did manage to log 10 steals and 7 blocks, scoring 21 points off turnovers.
Ham realized that he couldn’t match the Nuggets’ size and physicality with that small lineup, and it seemed like they were poised to pull away at some point in the game.
Props to the Nuggets for not backing down and staying calm while they weathered the storm.
That’s what championship teams do.NEXT: Austin Reaves Reacts To Lakers' Game 2 Loss To Nuggets