It’s been a while for the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s been a few years for LeBron James. Both the Lakers and James are back in the NBA Finals. Los Angeles took care of business, giving the Denver Nuggets no chance at another 3-1 comeback series win. The Lakers — led by a huge 38-point triple-double from James — defeated the Nuggets 117-107 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday night.
James finished with 38 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists for yet another playoff triple-double. This will be James’ 10th NBA Finals appearance. He has won three NBA titles, two with the Heat and one with the Cavaliers. Anthony Davis will be making his first trip to the finals after scoring 27 points in Game 5. LeBron and AD combined for 65 points in the series-clinching victory.
The Lakers entered this week as favorites to win it all at -315. They’ll represent the West in the NBA Finals and will be favored over whoever wins between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics out of the East. The Heat lead the Eastern Conference Finals 3-2 heading into Game 6 on Sunday. The Heat are +550 and the Celtics are +700 to win the NBA title.
As for the Nuggets, well, it was an impressive run. Nobody pegged Denver to be in the conference finals and the team was able to upset the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round. Unfortunately, playing with fire by going down 3-1 in a series can only work out so often. The Nuggets weren’t able to pull off another come-from-behind series win. Jamal Murray finished with 19 points and Nikola Jokic had 20 points in the Game 5 loss.