Denver's first NBA Finals participation was unforgettable. When the Los Angeles Lakers had a 15-point halftime lead behind LeBron James, Denver rallied to win 113-111 at Crypto.com Arena to clinch the Western Conference Finals sweep.
Nikola Jokić scored the series-winning drive in the last minute to level the game. Denver celebrated when James missed twice on the Lakers' next possessions.
Jokić has eight postseason triple-doubles, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain's seven. James, however, seemed to tire after scoring 31 points in the first half but still ended with 40 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists in a classic performance.
He scored 21 points in the first quarter—three on an errant pass—he aggressively posted up and attacked the basket while finally rediscovering his touch from deep.
He fought Aaron Gordon and scored 31 points in one of his best halves, showing his squad wasn't going down without a fight.
A 36-16 run gave Denver a five-point advantage going into the fourth. James was tired, but his teammates didn't help him as Gordon and Jamal Murray did for Jokić.
James tried his best, including drawing two fourth-quarter charges on Jokić to put him in foul trouble, but Denver's comeback proved too strong.
The Nuggets will await the Eastern Conference champion, where the Miami Heat lead the Boston Celtics 3-0.
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