LOS ANGELES (USA).- The Denver Nuggets sealed their qualification for their first-ever NBA Finals on Monday against the Los Angeles Lakers by LeBron James (111-113 in the fourth game, 0-4 overall) Thanks for the impressive sweep. West Final).
The team led by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, which was the best in the West in the regular season, will look for the first ring in its history against the winner of the Eastern Finals, which the Miami Heat dominated 3-0 against the Boston Celtics.
Along with their shocking and seemingly improbable win against the Lakers in the quickest way possible, Denver also ended a streak of four straight West Finals losses.
LeBron, on a titanic and memorable night in which he rested only 4 seconds out of 48 minutes of play, had two options to force overtime but his first shot went over the board and the second, already at the buzzer. , got blocked. by Aaron Gordon.
With the stats against him as he’s never come back from 3-0 in the NBA, LeBron took charge at the time of greatest frustration for his team and, at age 38, scored 40 points (15 of 25 shooting). Wonderful singing. ), 10 rebounds and 9 assists.
LeBron dazzled with 21 points in the first quarter and went up to 31 before the break (a new record for him in half a playoff).
But all that sweat, effort and epicness took its toll on him in the second half that he came away with very little power and in the end they were wasted against some exceptionally solid, compact and fearsome Nuggets.
Nikola Jokic had 30 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists and took home the “Magic” Johnson Award for MVP of the Western Finals.
The Serbian genius added his eighth triple-double in these playoffs, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain (seven in 1967) to set a new record.
Murray (25 points) and Gordon (22 points) also shone in the third quarter (16-36) for the heavy Nuggets who prevailed in a fierce contest with very limited rotation (Mike Malone only used seven players and Darwin Hamm used eight players. (The Lakers).
Anthony Davis, to a lesser extent, finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds for a Los Angeles team that capped off its roller coaster ride this season after a disastrous start (2-10), a stellar comeback and some exciting playoffs. in which he eliminated Memphis. Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors.
With no room for error, Haim kicked off his entire offensive arsenal with Dennis Schroder and Rui Hachimura replacing the much-maligned D’Angelo Russell and Jared Vanderbilt.
With LeBron, Davis and Austin Reeves rounding out the most offensive quintet possible, an 11–4 start encouraged them in purple and gold before the Lakers captured Game 6.
With only a mission between his brows and a razor-sharp killer instinct, LeBron shot a whopping 11-of-13 from the field in the first quarter, including a perfect 4-of-4 3-pointer.
Everything went great for an unbroken LeBron, so much so that he accidentally hit a very lucky triple when he was looking for an “alley-oop” for Hachimura.
Kentavius Caldwell-Pope responded with three triples for the visitors, but LeBron’s 21 points in the first quarter of striking stats like Davis’ 8 rebounds or Jokic’s 6 assists were enough for the Lakers to pull ahead (34-28). Were.
Two straight three-pointers from Schroder and a tap-off from LeBron gave the Lakers their first big lead (55–43 with 5:18 to go).
The Nuggets, arguably a tightrope with fewer needed points than some of the Lakers, suffered notable defensive mismatches and allowed 36 points in the paint.
The Angelenos, on the other hand, ended the first half on a high (73-58) and left the night anecdotal with the practically phenomenal Tristan Thompson entrance, the best example of how they’d do absolutely anything to avoid it. were going to try. 4-0.
These very few Gasoline Lakers have had their erratic and inconsistency over four quarters.
This time the collision was in the third period and it turned out to be a huge dent for the locals, who pulled off a painful victory in the third quarter 16-36 (89-94 going into the final period).
A towering Jokic, with 13 points and 10 rebounds in that final quarter alone, led some Nuggets’ charge, taking advantage of countless errors by the Lakers in shooting, missing too easy baskets (7 of 24 in that quarter). Were taking advantage of being there. ) and in paint protection.
Denver grabbed six offensive rebounds and the return basket was made by Caldwell-Pope with a two plus one after three straight offensive rebounds from her team.
Faced with some Nuggets in which they added from Murray to Gordon via Porter Jr., LeBron scored only 4 goals in some Lakers with low energy, with obvious signs of fatigue.
Already in the last quarter, Jokic committed two offensive fouls on LeBron and he was only one away from going to the shower.
In addition, a recovered Davis tied the game for the Lakers with five minutes remaining.
The result left incredible images such as an amazing triple in ‘fadeaway’ by Jokic, on one foot and in the last seconds of possession.
In the last minute, Jokic put the Nuggets at +2, the Lakers were no longer able to score, despite LeBron’s efforts to hang out his tongue, and Denver got a ticket to the first finals in its history.