LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers advance to the NBA Finals with a 117-107 win over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. The Nuggets made a valiant effort, but were unable to overcome a third straight 3-1 series deficit.
James was determined all night long, getting to the rim and to the free throw line to consistently get his team high-percentage baskets, and he absolutely took over down the stretch to send the Nuggets packing. His co-star Anthony Davis battled first-half foul trouble, but came up big in the second half as the Lakers thwarted Denver’s comeback bid.
The Nuggets were unable to get into a rhythm in the first half due to more foul trouble for Nikola Jokic and an injury to Jamal Murray which appeared to make him less than 100 percent. True to form, the Nuggets cut the Lakers’ 10-point halftime lead to just three to start the fourth quarter, but they were unable to reproduce the heroics that got them to this point.
The Lakers now seek the franchise’s 17th NBA title, and will meet the winner of the Eastern Conference finals series between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics.