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The Lakers fall into a 2-0 hole against the Nuggets in the first round series. What went wrong?

The Los Angeles Lakers lost in brutal fashion again, 101-99, to the Denver Nuggets on Monday, as Jamal Murray’s drive put them in a 2-0 hole during their first-round series.

Murray’s game-winning shot was just the exclamation point in a second straight, resilient victory for the defending champions in the first two games of the series, rallying from a 20-point deficit in the third quarter of Game 2 to win . This follows Saturday’s Game 1, when the Lakers blew a double-digit lead before losing by 11.

The first two losses of this year’s playoffs also follow a similar theme to last year’s matchup in the Western Conference Finals between the two teams. Los Angeles held a lead early in the fourth quarter or was in possession of Denver’s lead at the end of each game in the series, but was ultimately swept.

While the Lakers have lost their last 10 games to the Nuggets, Paul Pierce proclaimed that it’s just “the same story, every game” between these two teams on Tuesday’s edition of “Undisputed.”

“The Lakers do well, they take the lead, they blow the lead and the Nuggets come back to win,” Pierce said.

One of the main reasons the Lakers were able to take such a lead in Game 2 was Anthony Davis, who scored 32 points on 14 of 18 shooting in the first three quarters. The Nuggets only scored 69 points during the same stretch.

However, Davis only made one shot in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles scored only 20 points. He also struggled to contain Nikola Jokić, who had seven points and four assists in the fourth, and Murray, who scored 14 in the final period. Unlike the first game, LeBron James saved his best for last, scoring 12 of his 26 total points in the fourth quarter with three assists. It wasn’t enough, however, as Murray hit the game-winning shot over Davis.

Pierce thought James played the “perfect game”, believing it was smart of him to save his energy for the fourth quarter. But when he remarked that he thought Davis played like the “best player in the world” for the first three quarters, Pierce thought he played a big role in their fourth-quarter collapse .

“The Lakers are just starting to get back to their old ways,” Pierce said. “In the second half, they gave up the 3 and didn’t play defense. They were hoping that somehow, like magic, the Nuggets would disappear, regardless of the lead. Jokić was Jokić , obviously. (Davis) — defense The Player of the Year finalists came out Sunday and he was a little upset about not making the list.

“Well, we see why now. You had opportunity after opportunity to come up with big save after big save, and he couldn’t do it. That doesn’t mean he’s not a very good defender, “He’s a very good defender. But when you play against the best player in the world, this is your opportunity to show it.”

Skip Bayless had some criticism of James. He acknowledged that while James did “all-time great things” in the final frame, he failed to “bring the ball home” for the Lakers when they held a 10-point lead. points at the start of the quarter. He was particularly critical of James’ final shot, a missed 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining and a tie game.

“He just doesn’t have the clutch gene,” Bayless said. “He just doesn’t have the closer gene. It’s a closer game. Some guys make that shot and some guys don’t make that shot. Would Magic Johnson have made that shot? I think Yes. Would Kobe Bryant have made this shot? “I think so. Would Michael Jordan have made that shot, I know. “

Jamal Murray’s buzzer-beater gives Nuggets victory over Lakers

Jamal Murray's buzzer-beater gives Nuggets victory over Lakers

Keyshawn Johnson, meanwhile, wondered why the Lakers fell apart in the fourth quarter, while Murray stepped up his game after scoring six points on 3-of-16 shooting in the first three quarters.

“(Jokic and Murray) combined for 21 of Denver’s 32 points in the fourth quarter,” Johnson said. “That should tell us something, from a scouting standpoint, going into Game 3. If we look at Game 1, Game 2, and the Western Conference Finals from last year, when they go into the final seven minutes of this damn game, these two I can’t start cooking But, for some reason, the Lakers allowed this to happen.

With the Lakers going home 2-0, Pierce said they “maybe” should have some confidence, pointing to the fact that they held the lead for 70 percent of the series. But with the same story continuing to unfold between these two teams, Pierce has little hope that the Lakers can win the series.

“When they come back today and watch the tape and say, ‘There’s still light at the end of the tunnel,’ I don’t think there’s any light at the end of the tunnel,” Pierce said. “You’ve lost 10 games in a row. Denver’s not going to lose four games out of five. It’s happened once this year, so it can happen.

“But psychologically, they are in the Lakers’ heads, regardless of their lead. (D’Angelo Russell) played well. LeBron and AD did their job. So what’s the excuse now? Who’s the scapegoat NOW ?

“This is as perfect a game as the Lakers could have played until the fourth quarter…and I just don’t see how they could get back in this series.”

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