The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets 117-107 for a 2020 NBA Finals berth. The Nuggets fought until the end, but LeBron James 27th triple-double of 38 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists put the fight to rest. Anthony Davis added 27 points and five rebounds. This will make the Lakers 32nd appearance with a shot to win the franchise’s 17th championship.
LeBron Rises Up Late
Closing has weirdly been a knock against LeBron, but as always, he showed the world why this is a silly notion. His 16 points down the stretch put a nail in the coffin for any chance for the Nuggets to extend the series. He hit several jumpers and a bomb from long range, a slight change from his usual rim attack. Everything was working for him, and now he sees the pay-off just ahead next round. This win gives LeBron the 10th NBA Finals appearance of his career.
Role Players Stepped Up
On both ends of the floor, the role guys made their presence felt tonight. Alex Caruso had 11 big first-half points and hounded the Nuggets perimeter guys to close the game. Danny Green also had 11 with a three at the 4:15 fourth-quarter mark to put the Lakers ahead by seven points. Lastly, Dwight Howard got another start and used his activity to keep Nikola Jokic in foul trouble all game. He finished with nine points on 75 percent shooting.
The Lakers will not be back in action until Wednesday or possibly Friday. The Miami Heat still hold a 3-2 lead over the Boston Celtics with a possibility of closing them out coming on Sunday night. The Lakers split the season series with the Celtics a game apiece while winning both matchups against the Heat. Luckily this gives their guys a chance to mend a few injuries and prepare to complete this year’s mission.