(CBS4) – As the Denver Nuggets defeated 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 by Jerami Grant.
Grant excelled on both sides of the floor, scoring a playoff career-high 26 points on seven-for-11 shooting from the field and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line, with three rebounds and two steals. He also alternated between guarding both Lakers superstars Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Nuggets head coach Michael Malone further highlighted Grant’s performance in his postgame comments.
“We’d be down 3-0 (without it). That’s the bottom line,” Malone said. “Jerami was spectacular. 26 points. He got to the foul line 12 times, made 10, had really good defensive possessions guarding some of the best players in the world. We knew going in what we’re going to get every night from Nikola, from Jamal, and you always wonder, ‘Well, who’s going to step up and be that third scorer?’ And tonight, obviously Jerami came through in a big, big way for us on both ends of the floor. I’m proud of Jerami.”
Grant was picked up by the Nuggets last offseason in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. His 6-foot-8 frame and his quickness allows him to be a defense 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 during the first three-peat from 1991-93 with Michael Jordan.
His other two brothers played in college as Jerai was with the Clemson Tigers and Jaelin played at Independence Community College. When Jerami was asked where he ranked himself on his family hierarchy by Charles Barkley on “Inside The NBA,” he answered with a grin.
“I think I’m the best but I think everybody else will say they’re the best. It’s definitely great one-on-one games whenever we get back home,” Grant said.
The Nuggets look to tie up the Western Conference Finals in the best-of-seven series against the Lakers on Thursday at 7 p.m.