The Los Angeles Lakers failed to secure the victory in the fourth quarter for the third time in as many games in the Western Conference playoffs.
The details of L.A.'s two losses to start the series may have been different from Saturday's 119-108 setback to the Denver Nuggets,
but the overall message was the same: The West's top seed performed better when it meant the most.
The Lakers, who started the season 2-10 and completely rebuilt the roster just before the All-Star break,
LeBron James, who finished with 23 points, 12 assists, and 7 rebounds, remarked, "Just got to get one," but he missed 11 of 19 shots, including 4 of 6 in the fourth quarter.
Saturday was the Lakers' one game that appeared to be within their grasp. The Lakers were at home, where they had not yet suffered a playoff loss.
NBA teams are 0-149 when down 3-0 in a best-of-seven series, and the Lakers as a team have never even forced a Game 5 while in this situation, falling 0-8.