Despite being regarded as a basketball icon, LeBron James showcased his human side during the Los Angeles Lakers’ 108-103 defeat against the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the playoffs.
In the early stages of the second quarter, with the Lakers enjoying an eight-point advantage, James received a perfectly timed pass from Rui Hachimura during a transition play, providing him with a clear path to the basket.
As the Lakers bench eagerly rose to their feet and the crowd inside Ball Arena held their breath, the anticipation grew worldwide, with all eyes fixated on witnessing a spectacular dunk by the esteemed King James.
However, as the highly acclaimed four-time MVP soared towards the hoop, an unexpected turn of events unfolded. The ball unexpectedly slipped from LeBron’s grasp and rolled out of bounds, heading towards the delighted home crowd, leaving the Lakers bench in disbelief.
LeBron’s missed dunk was just one example of the numerous atypical mistakes made by the 19-time All-Star during the Game 2 defeat.
Despite scoring 22 points on a 9-for-19 shooting performance, the 38-year-old struggled to find his rhythm from beyond the three-point line. Despite contributing with nine rebounds and 10 assists, James failed to connect on any of his six attempts from long range, further exacerbating his ongoing shooting difficulties in the playoffs.
Following the game, LeBron James shared his perspective on the Los Angeles Lakers’ current 0-2 deficit, emphasizing that it was not a catastrophic situation.
James maintained an optimistic demeanor as he addressed reporters, stating, “What we should take away from this is that unlike the NCAA tournament, this is a series that requires the first team to secure four victories.” He further expressed confidence, saying, “We have the opportunity to return home, deliver an exceptional performance, and maintain our dominance.”
Despite limiting Nikola Jokic to 23 points, albeit with an impressive 17 rebounds and 12 assists, it was Jamal Murray who took charge and torched the Lakers. Alongside his remarkable defensive contribution of four steals, five assists, and 10 rebounds, Murray delivered an outstanding performance, accumulating an incredible 37 points in the significant triumph.
In the final quarter, Jamal Murray ignited and Los Angeles found themselves powerless to impede his offensive prowess. In a commanding display during the last 12 minutes, the guard proved unstoppable, crucially scoring 23 points.
LeBron James acknowledged Murray’s exceptional performance, stating, “He found his rhythm from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter. It’s no surprise to anyone; he has shown this ability before.” James further added, “Although it’s disheartening to be on the opposing side, I don’t believe we had many defensive breakdowns while he was executing his game.”
Nuggets’ two-time MVP, Nikola Jokic, was also in awe of Murray’s display, describing it as “special” and crediting him for securing the victory. Jokic emphasized, “He was amazing. Although he struggled to make shots in the first half, when it truly mattered, he delivered and essentially won us the game.”
As the series transitions to Los Angeles, the Lakers are eager to initiate a comeback starting on Saturday.