The Los Angeles Lakers are one victory away from returning to the NBA Finals unless a sensational third successive comeback from 3-1 down by the Denver Nuggets can stop them.
It was a closely-fought encounter that could have gone either way but LeBron James and co. eventually prevailed.
With one foot already in the NBA Finals, the LA Lakers will be looking to finish the job in Game 5. However, the Denver Nuggets have quite the record when down 1-3.
Murray had helped reduce the Lakers’ once 12-point lead down to a two-possession game, hoping to win Game 4 of the Western Conference finals and even up the series.
The LA Lakers have relied on their big men in this series so far and even handed veteran center Dwight Howard the start in Game 4. The former Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets man repaid coach Vogel’s faith in him with a brilliant double-double.
Anthony Davis scored 34 points, LeBron James had 26, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope putting up 13 points and making some big plays down the stretch. Jamal Murray was simply spectacular for the Nuggets, scoring 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting to go with eight assists, but he was unable to help his team repeat their Game 3 performance.
The up & under or the 360!?
Which unreal Jamal Murray lay-up from this postseason was your favorite? pic.twitter.com/S3VBp7Yzc9
— NBA (@NBA) September 25, 2020
Denver didn’t get its usual performance from Nikola Jokic, who finished with 16 points after missing several minutes of the fourth quarter due to foul trouble.
“I knew it was winning time, and Jamal had it going. I told my teammates that I had him and everyone else can kind of stay at bay and stay home. I was able to get a couple stops and we were able to rebound the basketball, which is the most important thing”, James said.
James, a 17-year veteran, came into the game averaging a career postseason low of 34.4 minutes in these playoffs.
The Lakers outrebounded the Nuggets 43-31, including a 12 to 6 advantage in offensive rebounds. Los Angeles took advantage, scoring 25 second-chance points.
Dwight Howard finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds (six offensive) in 22 minutes.
The Nuggets are 6-0 facing elimination and are fresh off dispatching the presumptive title favorite Los Angeles Clippers in an extraordinary fashion, after reaching the West semis trailing 3-1 against the Utah Jazz.
Game 5 is Saturday and could be the day the Lakers reach the NBA Finals for the first time in a decade.
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