Lakers’ struggles against Nuggets continue as Denver takes commanding 3-0 series lead

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers were well aware of the opportunities the Denver Nuggets would have to provide in order for them to secure a victory in this first-round series. They had a clear game plan that involved forcing turnovers, capitalizing on the energy of their home crowd, and challenging the Nuggets shooters with intense defense.

Despite having this strategy in place for nearly two years, the Lakers have been unable to crack the code. As a result, they now find themselves on the brink of elimination, with their offseason set to begin sooner than expected after a 112-105 loss to the Nuggets in Game 3.

Denver’s victory gave them a commanding 3-0 lead in the series, marking their 11th consecutive win against the Lakers. No team in NBA history has ever come back from such a deficit.

Thursday’s game showcased the Nuggets’ dominance, even as the Lakers attempted to rally with the support of their fans. The structural weaknesses of the Lakers’ roster were glaring, despite the efforts of LeBron James and Anthony Davis to lead the team.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Lakers struggled with their shooting, going just one of 14 from 3-point range. Their inconsistent performance, combined with the Nuggets’ strong play, ultimately led to their downfall.

Despite their best efforts, the Lakers couldn’t overcome the Nuggets’ solid defense and efficient scoring. The game turned in the third quarter when Nikola Jokić picked up his third foul, but the Lakers were unable to capitalize on the opportunity.

After a strong start by Davis, the Lakers faltered late in the game, allowing the Nuggets to extend their lead. Davis’ comments following Game 2 added pressure on him to perform, but he struggled to maintain his early momentum.

Jokić’s stellar performance, along with strong showings from Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr., propelled the Nuggets to victory. Meanwhile, the Lakers’ supporting cast failed to deliver when it mattered most.

Despite James’ impressive stat line of 26 points, nine assists, and six rebounds, the Lakers couldn’t match the Nuggets’ pace and depth. As a result, they now face a daunting task of trying to avoid an early exit from the playoffs.

With their postseason hopes hanging by a thread, the Lakers find themselves in a tough position as they prepare for Game 4 against a formidable Nuggets team that has proven to be their kryptonite.

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