By: Khadee Hession
For the first time in franchise history, the Denver Nuggets are headed to the NBA Finals.
The Nuggets completed a sweep over the Los Angeles Lakers with a thrilling win in game four on Monday night. Star Nikola Jokic helped the team with his 30 points, 14 rebounds, and 13 assists, including the game winning bucket over Anthony Davis, with less than a minute remaining to secure the win.
Lebron James seemed unstoppable. James had 31 points at the end of the first half. James played all but 4 seconds in Monday’s game. His points in the first half helped the Lakers end the half with a comfortable
15 point lead over the Nuggets. The second half was a different story. He didn’t attempt a shot until 6 minutes and 33 seconds into the third quarter and didn’t score until more than 9 minutes had passed. Austin Reaves functioned as the point guard for most of the third quarter. Most distressingly, James was blocked on his game-tying floater attempt. Denver fought back, outscoring the Lakers 34-16 in the third quarter and did not look back from there. Although Denver is known as an offensive team, they came up on the defensive end to secure their legendary win. Even with Lebron ending the game with 40 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists, the Lakers fell short.
The Nuggets will now move on to play for an NBA championship. Their likely opponent will be the Miami Heat who are leading the series 3-1 against the Boston Celtics. The Finals will begin on June 1st, leaving a long break for the Denver Nuggets. Jokic won the Western Conference Finals MVP award named after a Hall of Famer, Magic Johnson. The Heat are looking to make their first Finals appearance without Lebron James. Jokic set an NBA playoff record of eight triple doubles in the postseason. It was clear that the Nuggets wanted to win the Conference Championship and came together as a team to end the Lakers playoff run.