For the first time in a decade, the Los Angeles Lakers will represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.
The Lakers outlasted the resilient Denver Nuggets 117-107 to win the series 4-1. LeBron James led the final push for LA, scoring 16 points of his 38 points in the fourth quarter. James finished with 38 points, 16 rebounds, and ten assists, becoming the first Laker since James Worthy in 1988 to achieve that stat line. James also becomes only the fourth player to advance to 10 NBA Finals. Anthony Davis was pivotal for the Lakers all season, and he came up even bigger tonight with 27 points and five rebounds. Davis’ All-NBA level defense helped slow down Nikola Jokic and protect the rim.
Denver had a historic playoff run, coming from not one, but two 3-1 deficits in back to back rounds. The tandem of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray were potent all postseason. And even though the series ended 4-1, it was a lot closer than the final result.
In the East, the Celtics and Heat are still in the thick of things. The Celtics avoided elimination to force game 6. That series has been very close despite Miami having a 3-2 lead over the Celtics. The two will play Sunday at 7:30 on ESPN. The Heat will have a chance to play in their first Finals since LeBron was apart of the team in 2014. The Celtics will have the chance to rematch the Lakers from their 2010 contest, where Los Angeles came out on top.
By: Cam Deloatch