(Basketball news) The Denver Nuggets swept the series against the Los Angeles Lakers to win their first Western Conference title as they beat the Lakers 113-111 in game 4. For the Nuggets, Jokic had 30 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists as Jamal Murray scored 25 points while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finished with 13 points. For the Lakers, James finished with 40 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists while Austin Reaves scored 17 points as an exhausted Anthony Davis scored 21 points.
The Nuggets have been the best side in the West and it showed as their superb season will be capped off by playing for their first NBA championship. The Nuggets eliminated the Lakers for the first time in eight playoff meetings and also swept a playoff series for the first time in their franchise history as they will likely earn them several days off before the finals. Jokic earned his eighth triple-double of the playoffs by the third quarter which broke Wilt Chamberlain’s 1967 NBA record for triple-doubles in a single postseason. Lebron had his highest scoring half in a playoff match but that still wasn’t enough for the Purple and Gold.
The Lakers were swept in a playoff series for the 11th time in team history as the loss ended Los Angeles’ incredible turnaround after starting the season 2-10 under new coach Darvin Ham. After the trade deadline, they surged into the postseason with two months of strong play as the Lakers then knocked off second-seeded Memphis and eliminated defending champion Golden State. This one was the most unlikely championship run in NBA history for the Los Angeles Lakers. GM Rob Pelinka has an option to run it back with the same team or clear out cap space and sign Kyrie Irving next season.
“It’s incredible,” Murray said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s surreal. We’re going to keep making history, that’s the thing. We’re going to keep that mindset.”
“I think that’s why playoffs are so nice and so interesting, because you don’t care about how tired you are,” Jokic said. “You don’t care about minutes, fouls, shots, percentage. You just want to win a game. Some plays today we weren’t playing good defense sometimes, (but) you can win it in every kind of possible way.”
“Me and AD were just talking in the locker room (and) we came to the consensus this is one of the best teams, if not the best team, we’ve played together for all four years,” James said of the Nuggets. “Just well-orchestrated, well put together. They have scoring. They have shooting. They have playmaking. They have smarts. They have length. They have depth. And one thing about their team, when you have a guy like Jokic, who as big as he is but also as cerebral as he is, you can’t really make many mistakes versus a guy like that.”
“Nothing but love and respect for the Denver Nuggets,” Ham said. “Love the way they play and what they are about. We also saw ways that … I think we have an opportunity to do something special here, also, and we’ve just got to build off of this.”
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