(CBS4) – As the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 114-106 in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday, the team was not only led by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, but also Jerami Grant.
Grant excelled on both sides of the field, scoring a career-high 26 points on seven of 11 shots from the field and 10 of 12 from the free throw line, with three rebounds and two steals. He also alternated between custody of two Lakers superstars Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Nuggets head coach Michael Malone also highlighted Grant’s performance in his post-game comments.
“We would be lost 3-0 (without it). That’s the main thing, ”said Malone. “Jerami was spectacular. 26 points. He came to the foul line 12 times, made 10, had some great defensive possessions guarding some of the best players in the world. We knew what we were going to get every night from Nikola, Jamal, and you always wonder, ‘Well, who is going to take over and be that third goalscorer? And tonight, obviously, Jerami has gone in a big, big way for us at both ends of the floor. I am proud of Jerami. “
Grant was picked up by the Nuggets last offseason in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Its 6-foot-8 frame and speed allow it to be a defensive chess piece for the Nuggets against the Lakers’ two biggest starts.
Playing in the NBA is also in his blood. His father Harvey Grant played 11 seasons in the NBA for the Washington Bullets, Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers. His brother Jerian Grant is a point guard for the Washington Wizards. And his uncle Horace Grant won four championships, including three titles with the Chicago Bulls in the 1991-93 first hat-trick with Michael Jordan.
His other two brothers played in college like Jerai was with the Clemson Tigers and Jaelin played at Independence Community College. When Jerami was asked where he ranks in his family hierarchy by Charles Barkley on “Inside The NBA,” he responded with a smile.
“I think I’m the best but I think everyone will say they’re the best. They’re really great one-on-one games every time we get home, ”said Grant.
The Nuggets are looking to tie the Western Conference Finals in the Top Seven series against the Lakers at 7 p.m. Thursday.