Los Angeles Lakers on verge of elimination after third loss to Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets player Nikola Jokic attempts a shot as Anthony Davis (left) and LeBron James look on, May 20, 2023, in Los Angeles.

No NBA team has managed to qualify in the entire history of the North American professional basketball league after being down 3-0 in the playoffs. There is therefore little hope for the Los Angeles Lakers after their third setback, Saturday, May 20, against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference final (108-119).

And it’s not the scenario of the first game of the series played in Los Angeles that can instill a hint of positivity in LeBron James and his teammates.

No sooner had they managed to take a short advantage in the fourth and final quarter, than the Lakers suffered the lightning. The Nuggets, who were up to 14 points ahead in the game, then stepped on the accelerator and signed a fatal 13-0 in three minutes, destroying California’s chances of finally winning this series.

Read also: NBA: Miami dominates Boston for the second time in the Eastern Conference final

The tremendous momentum the Lakers had produced since the transfer deadline earlier in the season finally broke on the power of the Nuggets. Until Saturday, the Californians had seven consecutive victories at home since the start of the playoffs.

First NBA Finals in sight for the Nuggets

In the end, Jamal Murray scored 37 points for the Nuggets − including 30 points in the first period. His teammate Nikola Jokic added 24 points and 8 assists.

On the side of the Lakers, Anthony Davis signed 28 points and took 18 rebounds; LeBron James, for his part, had 23 points, twelve assists and seven rebounds, making three award-winning 3-point shots after missing his first thirteen shots of the series from long range.

Nikola Jokic’s formidable streak of four straight triple-doubles came to an end in a rather quiet game for the two-time MVP (most valuable player“best player”), in 2021 and 2022. But the Serb does not care, while the Nuggets have never been so close to the NBA finals in forty-seven years of franchise history. “This group is capable of doing great things, and [les joueurs] believe in it”said Denver coach Michael Malone.

Game 4 of the series is Monday night, again in Los Angeles. “The circumstances are what they are. It will be difficult but not impossible”, still wants to believe the Californian coach, Darvin Ham. It’s not a feat that the Lakers need now, but a miracle.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers NBA: at the San Antonio Spurs, Victor Wembanyama takes over from Tony Parker

Le Monde with AP and AFP


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here