Florida [USA], September 23 (ANI): Denver Nuggets found a new hero in Jerami Grant on Tuesday night as they registered a 114-106 victory over the LA Lakers in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. While Jamal Murray piled 28 points, 12 assists, and eight boards, head coach Michael Malone reserved special praise for Grant.
Jerami notched a playoff career-high 26 points for the Nuggets, giving them a shot to even the series in Game 4 on Thursday.
"We would be down 3-0 without Jerami Grant, he was spectacular. We know what we are going to get every night from Nikola and Jamal, but we needed a third scorer and tonight Jerami came through for us in a big way on both ends of the floor. I am very proud of him. It was great to see him have some success offensively because he has been working so hard at it. His hard work paid off tonight," Malone said in a statement.
Malone was also pleased to see the respect Murray was getting on the court. "They are double-teaming him and giving him so many different looks and that's what being an all-NBA type of player is all about," explained Malone.
With just over 10 minutes left in the game, the Nuggets led by 20 when the Lakers changed gears with a 19-2 run and forcing turnovers that led to easy baskets.
"They turned up the pressure and I believe we had nine turnovers in the fourth quarter alone, which can't happen. Eventually, we settled down and Jamal made some big baskets down the stretch," said Malone.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel wasn't as disappointed with the result and gave the Nuggets full credit for the win.
"If you put yourself in an 18-point hole, it's tough to climb out of that, but the guys did make runs, showed some resilience, a couple of missed threes could've closed the gap, but again great spirit to fight back in the game," said Vogel, who was confident that his team will respond positively to the loss in Game 4.
"They (Nuggets) are great at reading a defensive game. And you know, you do A they are going to do B, you do B, they are going to do A. We just have to be better on the defensive end. This is the playoffs, we have to respond to a loss and we know how resilient this team is so we have to come out with a great fight in game 4," Vogel added. (ANI)