The Denver Nuggets are already in their first NBA Finals. The team led by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray also prevailed in the fourth game of the Western final and closed the tie with a resounding 4-0. The Lakers have competed in all four games, but have been unable to offer answers to the challenge posed by a block led by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. The Nuggets, the best team in their conference in the first phase, are already waiting for a rival that will come out of the tie between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat and that Florida leads 3-0.
LeBron suffered the fourth series sweep of his career. What happened against the Nuggets is added to the 4-0 loss that he suffered in the Finals against the Warriors in 2018 and the same score that he experienced in the Finals against the Spurs in 2007. And that the game of James at 38 years of age does not admit comparison with no other in NBA history. At halftime he had 31 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists for the Lakers to lead by 15 points (73-58), but in the third quarter the team fell apart and conceded a 16-36 run. The last period was trying to avoid the inevitable. LeBron only rested 4 seconds in the 48 minutes of play and finished with 40 points (15/25 from the field), 10 rebounds and 9 assists, but he is already on vacation. He had two options to force overtime, but his first pitch hit the side of the backboard and his second, already over the buzzer, was blocked by Aaron Gordon. Exhaustion and the Nuggets could with LeBron.
With the statistics against him since he has never come back from 3-0 against in the NBA, LeBron took responsibility at the moment of greatest despair for his team and, at 38, gave a wonderful recital of 40 points (15 25 shooting), 10 rebounds and 9 assists.
The Nuggets responded to LeBron’s fireworks with another great game from their two pillars, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. The Serbian center in the series has been a scandal. No one understands that he was not chosen in the League’s ideal quintet and few understand that he has not been chosen as MVP for the third consecutive season. The Balkan added a new triple-double with 30 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists and took the “Magic” Johnson award for MVP of the Western final. His averages in the Conference final have been dizzying: 27.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, 11.8 assists, shooting over 50 percent from the field and close to 50 percent from three. That’s why LeBron said: “Even when you’re defending him in the best possible way, Jokic puts the ball behind his head Larry Bird style and dunks a 3-pointer from 50 feet. It’s happened four or five times during this series. All I can do is take off my hat.”
And it is that Jokic has become the player in history who adds the most triple-doubles during the playoffs of the same season. He already adds eight. Wilt Chamberlain stayed at seven in 1967. Magic Johnson and Draymond Green reached half a dozen. And he still has the finals ahead of him.
Murray (25 points), who missed the entire previous season due to injury, and Gordon (22 points) also shone in a Nuggets that only used seven players, but will have a few days off depending on how long they are able to extend. the Celtics their tie against the Heat, if they are able in Boston to take the tie beyond the fourth game.
A more than correct Anthony Davis (21 points and 14 rebounds) was of no use either, the Lakers arrived physically very fair to the tie and did not have at any time an acceptable version of D’Angelo Russell. The point guard was important against the Grizzlies and the Warriors, but against the Nuggets he did not appear.
Denver faces what will be its first NBA final. The altitude of the city (1,608 meters) is another challenge for the teams that go to the Ball Arena. After almost half a century in the NBA, the Nuggets had reached four Western finals and were eliminated in all of them (three of them, also, against the Lakers).