The Los Angeles Lakers’ comeback was scary until the end. But the pride of the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference wouldn’t allow the upset. Denver defeated the Lakers to advance to the championship game for the first time in franchise history.
Denver defeated the Lakers 113-111 메이저놀이터 in a tightly contested Game 4 of the 2022-2023 National Basketball Association (NBA) Western Conference Finals (best-of-seven) on Wednesday at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. Denver closed out the series in four games and advanced to the championship game for the first time in the franchise’s 47-year history. It also wiped the slate clean from the 2019-2020 season, when the Nuggets were swept by the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
Denver will face the winner of Miami and Boston, who are playing in the Eastern Conference Finals, in the championship game beginning next month. Eighth-seeded Miami currently holds a three-game lead over second-seeded Boston.
The Nuggets trailed the Lakers 58-73 at halftime, a huge deficit at home. However, the Nuggets quickly turned the tables in the third quarter, holding the Lakers to 16 points and scoring a whopping 36 points to take a 94-89 lead.
The Lakers regrouped in the fourth quarter and the game was tied again. Then, with 51 seconds left in regulation, ace Nikola Jokic scored an invaluable layup to give Denver a 113-111 lead. The Lakers then made a final push, but LeBron James’ shot rimmed out with 26 seconds left, and then James’ floater was blocked by Aaron Gordon with one second left.
Jokic finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists for his eighth triple-double of these playoffs. That’s the most in a single playoffs, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain’s seven in the 1966-1967 season.
Jokic was also named Western Conference MVP. Denver also had every other starter in double figures, with Jermaine Murray scoring 25 points and Gordon adding 22.
The Lakers were led by James’ near triple-double of 40 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists, playing 48 full minutes without a single second of rest, and Anthony Davis’ 21 points and 14 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough.
The Lakers made a run through the playoffs as the No. 7 seed and made a surprise run to the Finals, but they couldn’t get past Denver’s high wall.