The Lakers Finally Beat The Nuggets And Forced A Game 5


After 11 consecutive losses, the Los Angeles Lakers have finally toppled the Denver Nuggets. After blowing double-digit leads in each of the first three games of their first round series with Denver, the Lakers were able to not only build a big lead in Game 4, but hold onto it for a 119-108 win.

The first half followed a similar script to the first three games, with the Lakers establishing a 13-point lead at the half thanks to a tremendous start from their stars. Davis continued his trend of huge first halves, scoring 17 points and pulling down 11 rebounds in the first 24 minutes, while LeBron added support to help L.A. put up 61 in the first half.

They also got help early from Austin Reaves, who had a personal 7-0 run in the second quarter to help open up the lead after Denver had whittled it down.

The real question was whether they could prevent the third quarter onslaught from Denver that had defined the series. It looked like the Nuggets were going to do it again, getting the Lakers lead down to as few as seven with a few minutes left in the third, as Michael Porter Jr. and Nikola Jokic led the charge.

However, unlike in the previous games, the Lakers had a response ready. D’Angelo Russell, who had a scoreless, 0-for-7 performance in Game 3, bounced back in a big way to hit a number of big buckets in Game 4 to keep Denver from gaining control of the momentum going to the fourth, as the Lakers were able to maintain an 11-point edge.

Every time Denver seemed to be closing the gap, the Lakers had a response as, for the first time really all series, they were able to combine timely stops with consistent offense — with LeBron serving as the closer.

Denver did get the lead down to seven in the final minute, but they just could not create the massive run needed to steal another one from L.A. Jokic finished with a huge triple-double (33 points, 14 assists, 14 rebounds) and Porter Jr. was terrific (27 points, 11 rebounds), but the Nuggets were just not as crisp as we’re accustomed to on the offensive end. They struggled finishing around the rim, got absolutely nothing from their bench, and could not get key rebounds for the life of them.

While Davis wasn’t a huge offensive factor in the second half, he continued to dominate on the boards, finishing with 25 points and 23 rebounds. LeBron led the way in scoring with 30, while Reaves and Russell both had 21 points to provide a hugely important boost that had been missing in previous games.

Denver will certainly need to be more attentive and sharper on the details in Game 5 if they’re going to finish off this series and not have to return to Los Angeles. The Lakers will feel like they have a good plan for Denver and finally got some confidence for their supporting cast that they can contribute in a big way. Now, whether they can do it for a second straight night remains to be seen, as they had that in the gutting Game 2 loss in Denver and then laid an egg in Game 3.

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