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Lakers on brink of elimination after Game 3 loss to Denver Nuggets

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Lakers are now on the brink of elimination after dropping Game 3 to the Denver Nuggets 112-105.

The Lakers had a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter before having the lead get trimmed to four at the end of the half. Afterwards, the Nuggets began to show why they are the reigning NBA champs as they turned the tables in the second half.

In the first half, the Lakers appeared ready to handle business in front of their home. Anthony Davis set the tone with a jumper to start the game, followed by back-to-back dunks from Davis and LeBron James. From the beginning, they made it clear the Lake Show was in effect.

Before the wheels fell off for the Lake Show, the roaring crowd at the Crypto.com Arena in downtown LA was exactly what Lakers’ head coach Darvin Ham was hoping for.

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"We've had some great performances here, and we expect another one tonight. And just go out and just feed off the energy. Initiate, sustain and finish. Hopefully, this time a high level of good competitive basketball," Ham said ahead of Game 3.

Part of that competitive basketball comes from LeBron James' leadership. Michael Malone had nothing but praise when asked about King James' greatness.

"The fact that he continues to improve his game…it’s truly a marvel to watch what he’s doing and what he continues to do. That’s why he’ll go down as one of the greatest players to ever play," he said.

Unfortunately, the loud crowd Ham wanted backfired. "Fire Darvin Ham!" chants were heard throughout the arena toward the end of the fourth quarter.

With the loss, the Lakers’ season could end as early as Saturday, as LA hosts the Nuggets for Game 4 on Saturday. The Apr. 27 showdown tips off at 5:30 p.m. PT.

HOW THEY GOT HERE

The Lakers punched a ticket to the playoffs and the seventh seed after beating the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA Play-In Tournament.

The defending champion Nuggets locked in the second seed after finishing the 2023-2024 regular season with a 57-25 record.

SERIES AT A GLANCE

  • Game 1: Nuggets 114, Lakers 103

  • Game 2: Nuggets 101, Lakers 99

  • Game 3: Nuggets 112, Lakers 105

  • Game 4: Nuggets at Lakers, Apr. 27, 5:30 p.m. PT