The NBA Western Conference battle between the Denver Nuggets and LA Lakers came to a quick end Monday night. The Nuggets swept the Lakers 4-0, bringing to an end a chance LeBron James would get another title this year. The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics continue their fight tonight, with the Heat one win away from a sweep of their own.
Nuggets Too Much For the Lakers
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are spearheading the top team in the Western Conference. They are striving for their first championship ring in history against the current Eastern Conference champion, the Heat, who have a 3-0 lead over the Celtics.
Denver put an end to their four-year losing streak in the Western Finals by achieving a stunning win against the Lakers with the quickest method in the final match. LeBron had an unforgettable game night where he only took a 4-second break in the last minute of the game. He attempted two shots to prolong the game and tie the score, but his first one missed the rim and the second attempt was denied by Aaron Gordon at the buzzer.
With 30 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists under his belt, Nikola Jokic clinched the Magic Johnson Award for Western Finals MVP. Jokic, a Serbian pro, set a new record with his eighth triple-double in these tournaments, overtaking Wilt Chamberlain’s mark of seven in 1967.
In the Nuggets’ dominant third-quarter performance (16-36), Murray racked up an impressive 25 points and Gordon contributed 22 points, leading their team to a hard-fought victory with minimal turnovers. It’s worth noting that coach Mike Malone only utilized seven players, while Darvin Ham played eight in the game against the Lakers.
Despite the daunting statistics working against him in the NBA, LeBron stepped up to the challenge during a hopeful period for his team. At 38 years old, he delivered an outstanding performance of 40 points (with a 15-25 shooting record), 10 rebounds, and nine assists.
LeBron, now considering whether he wants to continue playing, achieved a personal milestone by scoring 21 points in the initial quarter and tallying up to 31 before the end of the first half. But his intense exertion, determination and anxiety ended up draining him in the latter half, leaving him ineffective and powerless against the resilient, solid and dauntless Nuggets.
The Lakers had a tumultuous season that included a poor start with a record of 2-10, a difficult comeback, and an intense game against both the Memphis Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors.
Celtics Almost Done
The Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA have the Heat ahead with a one-win lead over the Celtics, bringing them one step closer to securing a conference spot in the NBA Finals. Miami secured the top position on the table after securing victories in the first two games played in Boston. In the third game, the Heat dominated with a score of 128-102, causing significant discomfort for the Celtics, who are currently in second place with the NBA’s second-best record for the season.
The driving force behind Miami’s success are Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, who have mercilessly dismantled the Celtics. Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson and Caleb Martin are completing the group, not allowing Boston any room to reach the bucket.
In the entire history of NBA playoffs, no team has ever lost a series after taking a leading score of 3-0, leading to a perfect 149-0 record. The Celtics have a chance to break the streak tonight, but it’s not looking good. Miami is proving too tough and Boston’s on the verge of another loss.