The Rundown: Rivers steps up for Nuggets, Davis takes over for Lakers

Published May 28, 2021, 2:00 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

Austin Rivers scored 21 points to help Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets take a 2-1 lead, while Anthony Davis had 33 to lead the Lakers in Game 3.


Bucks 113, Heat 84
Lakers 109, Suns 95
Nuggets 120, Trail Blazers 115

What went down

The void left by Jamal Murray cannot be stressed enough, and Nikola Jokic needs all the help he can get.

In Game 3, it came in the form of many things. 

First to step up was the Nuggets’ 30-year-old rookie Facundo Campazzo, who played an all-around game and almost dropped a triple-double with 11 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.

Then came the 3s from Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, and JaMychal Green.

But the biggest help came Austin Rivers, who found the hot hand at a crucial part of the game usually reserved for someone named Damian Lillard. This time, it was Rivers who hit 3-for-3 from 3s in the fourth quarter. 

Rivers finished with 21 points, a big help to another Jokic MVP performance (36 points, 10 rebounds, five assists).

The Portland Trail Blazers had a moment when Carmelo Anthony drained a 3 to tie the game with seven minutes left. The Melo bucket threatened to swing the momentum to the Blazers, but the Nuggets kept cool and composed.

If the Nuggets’ depth continues to deliver, then Murray’s void might not even be a void at all. The Blazers, meanwhile, will have to rely more on the others not named Lillard, Anthony, and CJ McCollum if they want to extend the series longer. 

Big-time baller

Game 3 between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers was close at the end of the first half, right before Anthony Davis happened.

In the third quarter, AD took over and scored 18 of the Lakers’ 33 points. The Suns as a team scored only 23 the entire quarter.  

Davis finished with 34 points on 50 percent shooting, adding 11 rebounds. If we’re seeing the return of unstoppable, dominant bubble AD, the Suns might be in trouble.  

What he said

“We’re going to stay focused. The job’s not done here.” 

This is what Giannis Antetokounmpo had to say after the Milwaukee Bucks blew out the Miami Heat to take a huge 3-0 lead in their first-round matchup.

Did you see that?

Damian Lillard is all about that logo game, that step back game, that long-range, from the parking lot game. Here’s a little reminder that he has a dunk game, too: