Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic acknowledged his team knew either Lebron James or Anthony Davis would take the final shot for the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2. The Nuggets guessed correctly but still failed to defend the play as Lakers forward Davis drilled a three-pointer over Jokic to give the Lakers a 105-103 win and a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference Finals series.
It was a devastating blow for the Nuggets, who were on the verge of tying the series to one game apiece. "Either going to be him or LeBron [James to take the last shot], so we kind of knew it," Jokic said of the final play," per ESPN.
"Just happened, a little bit of miscommunication. I think I had a really good contest, to be honest. I think I was right there. As soon as he shot the ball, he shot it really well. Like, I kind of felt it going in. Great players make great shots."
Jokic was great throughout the match Jokic showed up in Game 2 for the Nuggets, scoring a team-high 30 points and also grabbing six rebounds and dishing out nine assists. After a heartbreaking loss, Nuggets coach Mike Malone said "losing sucks" and the players in his locker room hate losing games.
In Game 1, the Nuggets lost 126-114.
"Losing sucks," Malone said after the loss. "That's the bottom line, losing sucks. Some guys like to win, some guys hate to lose. I think we're a group of guys that hate to lose.
Whether it be by 20-something points in Game 1 or at the buzzer tonight, counts as the same. "The only thing you can talk about tonight is we were in the game. They had to rely on a great shot by a great player to beat us at the buzzer.
But as long as we're putting ourselves in position to win games, that's all you can ask for. One thing I know about our group, even though we are disappointed, frustrated, angry, we'll use that motivation to come out and try to take Game 3."
But one thing is for sure -- the Nuggets won't quit despite falling 2-0 to the first-seeded Lakers. The Nuggets made history in these playoffs as they recovered from a 3-1 deficit in back-to-back series to make the Western Conference Finals. Previously, the Nuggets beat the Utah Jazz 4-3 and the Los Angeles Clippers 4-3.