NBA playoffs

Lakers know they’re still fighting history vs Nuggets in Game 5


This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Lakers know they’re still fighting history vs Nuggets in Game 5

KING JAMES. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball against Denver Nuggets guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5) during the second half in game three of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Arena.

Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

LeBron James and the Lakers aim to repeat over the Nuggets to live another day, hoping to become the first team in NBA playoff history to win a series after falling behind 0-3

The Los Angeles Lakers ended nearly two seasons of frustration against Denver and stayed alive in the Western Conference quarterfinal series. Now the goal is to make NBA history.

Los Angeles’ 119-108 win over the Nuggets in Game 4 on Saturday, April 27 (Sunday, April 28, Manila time), snapped an 11-game skid against the defending champions, counting regular season and playoffs, but the Lakers have plenty of work ahead. It continues with Game 5 on Monday in Denver.

“We’ve given ourselves another lifeline, and it’s a one-game series for us,” said LeBron James, who scored 14 of his team-high 30 points in the fourth quarter on Saturday night. “Monday’s game is the most important game of the season for us, and we understand that.”

James also understands that teams that fall behind 3-0 in an NBA series have literally never won the series, although four teams have forced a Game 7. The last to do it were the Boston Celtics in last year’s Eastern Conference finals, but they lost Game 7 at home to Miami.

Los Angeles has confidence it can be the first team to rally from 3-0. The Lakers have led for most of the series and had double-digit advantages in all four games, only to have the Nuggets rally to win the first three. On Saturday, Los Angeles held firm when Denver made a run.

“It takes a lot of energy to come back from these double-digit leads down 20, down 15, whatever it is,” Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. said. “(On Saturday) they did a good job of sustaining it. Whenever we got within 10 or eight, it seemed like they made a three-pointer or made a big shot. So, credit to them.”

The Lakers controlled the paint in Game 4, with Anthony Davis leading the way with 25 points and 23 rebounds. Los Angeles scored 72 of its 119 points in the lane.

“The paint defense was a joke,” Denver coach Michael Malone said.

The Nuggets knew Davis and James would get their offense, but it was D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves who provided the difference with 21 points apiece. Russell has had a rollercoaster series, hitting a playoff career-high seven three-pointers in Game 2 before going scoreless in Game 3.

Russell made four three-pointers on Saturday, including one late in the fourth quarter that kept Denver from mounting another late rally.

The Nuggets have gotten production throughout their starting lineup, but Jamal Murray has struggled with his shot. He is hitting just 38.0% from the field and 20.8% from behind the three-point line. He was 9-for-23 Saturday night and missed all four of his three-point attempts.

Denver still has homecourt advantage but would like to close out the series on Monday. The Nuggets know the longer the series goes, the more the pressure will mount, and that’s what Los Angeles hopes to do.

“The odds aren’t stacked in our favor. But anytime we can keep ourselves floating above water, we have an opportunity to do something special,” Reaves said. “And we’re ready for the challenge.” –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!