LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Lakers are facing elimination after suffering a 119-108 defeat to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, May 20 at the Crypto.com Arena. Denver has a commanding 3-0 series lead, and have the opportunity to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals on Monday night.
Jamal Murray led all players with 37 points, Anthony Davis continued to wreak havoc with 28 points. The Lakers homecourt advantage meant little to the Nuggets, and a 13-0 run in the 4th quarter ended the Lakers flawless record at home during the playoffs.
NBA teams are 0-149 when trailing 3-0 in a best-of-seven series, and the Lakers as a franchise have never even forced a Game 5 when in this position.
Now one loss away from their season being over, the Lakers, who started the season 2-10 and completely overhauled the roster just before the All-Star break, are hoping they have one more improbable run left.
“Just got to get one,” said LeBron James, who finished with 23 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds but missed 11 of 19 shots, including 4 of 6 in the fourth quarter. “Just one at a time. Just focus on Game 4, and you know, that’s all you can really think about.”
It seemed that this game was the most attainable for the Lakers to win. The Nuggets big two have played well enough to turn a small margin between the two teams into a wide gap heading into Game 4.
The Nuggets possess a far deeper, and more experienced roster than the Lakers. Former Laker Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 17 points, Bruce Brown added 15 points off the bench and Michael Porter Jr. 14 points and all were big keys to the victory.
The Lakers supporting cast has been largely absent from this series. With the exception of Austin Reaves and Roi Hachimura, role players like D’Angelo Russell and Dennis Schroeder and Jarret Vanderbilt have struggled during the Western Conference Finals.
The Lakers only answer seems to be shooting more three pointers to win, but they are a horrible team from beyond the arc. Hopelessly launching brick-after-brick to the chagrin of Lakers Nation.
Game 4 is the Lakers final stand. A team so rich in tradition and history, it would be awful to see the Denver Nuggets celebrating at half court in Los Angeles. Game 4 tipoff is 5:30 p.m.