AROUND THE HORN
Murray, Nuggets hang on to win
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Jamal Murray had 28 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds and made two late 3-pointers to halt a Lakers charge, helping the Denver Nuggets to a 114-106 victory Tuesday night that cut Los Angeles’ lead to 2-1 in the Western Conference finals.
The Nuggets lost almost all of a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter but held on to win, avoiding a 3-0 hole that would have been daunting even for this never-out-of-it team.
Denver has set a record by erasing two 3-1 deficits in this postseason, but no NBA team has ever come back from 3-0.
Jerami Grant added a playoff career-high 26 points and Nikola Jokic had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who will try to even the series in Game 4 on Thursday.
LeBron James had 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who remained two wins from their first NBA Finals appearance in a decade. Anthony Davis, who made the winning 3-pointer at the buzzer in Game 2, scored 27 points.
The Nuggets led by 20 with 10 1/2 minutes left and soon after were hanging on after the Lakers charged back with a 19-2 run, turning to a zone defense and forcing turnovers that led to easy baskets.
With Denver’s lead down to four, Murray made a 3-pointer with 2:16 remaining. He then found Paul Millsap under the basket for a score before hitting a long 3 to push the lead back to 111-99 with 53 seconds to play.
Notre Dame-Wake Forest postponed
As the Atlantic Coast Conference worked Tuesday to reschedule another league game postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak within one of its teams, the Mountain West was zeroing in on a possible late October start to its football season.
No. 7 Notre Dame’s game at Wake Forest on Saturday was postponed after positive COVID-19 tests landed 13 Fighting Irish players in isolation and another 10 in quarantine.
The schools said they were working with the ACC to reschedule the game. Both teams have off Oct. 3.
Mountain West university presidents moved up a scheduled Friday meeting to Thursday, a person with knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league is not making its move toward a possible return to fall sports public.
It was unclear whether the Mountain West presidents would vote Thursday on any proposals, the person said.
Mountain West athletic directors are aiming for an Oct. 24 or Oct. 31 start for the football season. The conference is close to an agreement that will provide its 12 schools with the capacity to perform daily COVID-19 antigen tests on its athletes, the person said.
Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson told AP last week the conference would not move forward on a fall football season without its schools having the ability to test daily.
The Mountain West postponed its fall sports season on Aug. 10, the day before the Big Ten and Pac-12 did the same.
The Pac-12’s CEO Group of presidents and chancellors is also meeting Thursday and is expected to make a decision on whether the conference can start its football season as soon as Halloween weekend. The Pac-12 announced early this month it had acquired daily COVID-19 testing for its members.
The Big Ten announced last week it will kick off its football season the weekend of Oct. 24. The conference plans to start testing its fall sport athletes daily on Sept. 30.
Ramirez saves Tribe
CLEVELAND (AP) — With one sweet swing, Jose Ramirez pushed the Cleveland Indians in the playoffs and strengthened his case for the AL MVP award.
Ramirez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning, giving Cleveland a 5-3 win over the Chicago White Sox that clinched a postseason berth Tuesday night.
Ramirez’s drive to right off Jose Ruiz scored Cesar Hernandez and Francisco Lindor, setting off a wild celebration at home plate as the Indians reached the postseason for the fourth time in five years.
Lindor had pulled Cleveland within one on a two-out double that plated Roberto Perez, who began the inning on second base. After Matt Foster (5-1) walked Hernandez, Ruiz entered and gave up the game-ending drive.
AL Central-leading Chicago lost for the fourth time in five games, creating a log jam at the top of the division. Minnesota is in second and Cleveland is just three games back.
Aces Lucas Giolito of the White Sox and Shane Bieber of the Indians face off Wednesday night.