In anticipation of King James’ dunk, the Lakers bench rose to their feet, the crowd inside Ball Arena held their breath, and the world watched more intently. It was a moment that sent shockwaves across the arena and around the world. With just over eight minutes left in the second quarter, LeBron James had a clear path to the basket after being found by Hachimura on transition.
The crowd inside Ball Arena held its breath as King James began his ascent towards the hoop, with everyone expecting an epic dunk. But then, something unexpected happened –the ball slipped out of his hands and rolled off towards front row seats! There were gasps from both sides of fans – some delighted at seeing such vulnerability from one of basketball’s greatest ever players while others couldn’t believe what they had just witnessed. It wasn’t just this moment that showed LeBron James’ humanity though; throughout Game 2 he made uncharacteristic errors which ultimately led to their defeat. Despite making nine out of nineteen shots from the field and scoring 22 points overall, he struggled when it came to three-pointers going zero for six attempts beyond arc. This performance mirrored previous struggles during playoffs where he has been criticized for inconsistency with shooting outside range. Despite these setbacks and falling into an early two-game hole against Denver Nuggets, LeBron remained optimistic post-match saying: “We’re not in tournament yet.” His words echoed through social media platforms as fans continued to debate whether or not this will be another setback like last year’s bubble f.
With the Lakers up by eight points early in the second quarter, James had a clear run to the basket after being found by Hachimura in transition.
The Lakers bench rose to their feet, the crowd inside Ball Arena let out a collective breath, and the eyes of the world stared more intently waiting for a big King James dunk.
But, as the four-time MVP began his ascent to the hoop, the ball slipped out of his hands and rolled off the court towards the front row – much to the delight of the home crowd and to the disbelief of the Lakers bench.
The 19-time All-Star made a number of uncharacteristic errors in the Game 2 loss.
Despite making 9-for-19 shots from the field and scoring 22 points, James was freezing cold from three-point range. Despite adding nine rebounds and 10 assists to his stat line, James went 0-6 from beyond the arc and his playoff woes from deep continued.
James reflected on the 0-2 hole the Lakers find themselves in and said that it was “not the end of the world.”
“We’re not in the tournament yet,” James said after the game, staying upbeat. “We still have an opportunity to go home and play great basketball and hold serve.”
With Nikola Jokić holding court against the Lakers, it was Jamal Murray’s turn to take over. The Nuggets’ shooting guard poured in 37 points – including five steals and four assists – as Denver trounced LA 112-101.
In the fourth, Murray caught fire and there was little Los Angeles could do to thwart his offensive game. In a dominant final 12 minutes, the guard was unstoppable, scoring 23 crucial points.
“It’s no surprise to anybody, he’s done it before. He always seems to make the big shots when it matters most,” James admitted afterward. “Hate to be on the other side of it, but I don’t feel like we had many breakdowns when he was doing what he was doing.”
Jokić was also in awe of his teammate’s incredible performance.
“He was special,” said the Nuggets star. “He was special. He won us the game,” he added. “I think he was amazing. Yes, maybe in the first half, he struggled to make shots, but when it mattered the most, he made shots and he won us the game.”
The Lakers now hope to start a series comeback on Saturday in LA.