The Los Angeles Lakers lost Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals to the Denver Nuggets by five points, and there was some concern late when LeBron James seemed to injure his ankle after stepping on teammate Anthony Davis’ foot.
He was shaken up and in pain for a little while, but after the game, he said it shouldn’t be a concern moving forward.
LeBron James twisted his left ankle late in Game 2 by stepping on Aaron Gordon’s foot. He was evaluated after the game but Saturday’s Game 3 isn’t in question. “They’re still there,” he told ESPN, pulling a towel off his ankles. “A little ankle isn’t going to stop me”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 19, 2023
James, as he did in Game 1, came very close to a triple-double with 22 points, 10 assists and nine assists. However, he missed all six of his 3-point attempts, and several of those misses came in the fourth quarter when the Nuggets went on a run that ultimately decided the game.
Early on, Los Angeles forged a solid lead as it managed to hold the Nuggets down defensively. Jamal Murray, who was crucial in Game 1, struggled offensively in the first half, and James’ crew looked intent on tying the series.
But the Lakers couldn’t buy a basket for much of the second half, while Murray made it rain and was a one-man thunderstorm down the stretch. His 37 points ensured the Nuggets would leave their home court with a 2-0 series lead.
As he has so often in the playoffs this year, guard Austin Reaves found the range in the second half and finished with an efficient 22 points, while Rui Hachimura was white-hot for the second game in a row, posting 21 points on just 10 shot attempts.
But once again, the Lakers got beat in the effort department, particularly on the boards and in transition. They got outrebounded by nine while giving 22 fast-break points to Denver, although they were able to muster 21 points on the break themselves.
Now Game 3 and Game 4 at Crypto.com Arena will be, for all intents and purposes, must-win games for them, and they will have to address their lack of consistency and questionable decision-making in order to win both contests.