After a tumultuous first three games of the series, the Denver Nuggets are on the brink of the NBA Finals and are prepared to knock the Los Angeles Lakers out of the running.
The two teams came into this series with a few question marks about how they would wind up answering the matchups on both sides, but the Nuggets have answered any and all doubt that was held against them.
Game three was a collective effort from their roster as Nikola Jokic exited the game in the third quarter with his fourth foul that was challenged but upheld.
Despite his exit, the Nuggets held strong until the fourth quarter when Jokic could return, and he immediately seized the moment to open up a massive run to close the game.
Now the Lakers’ backs are against the wall and they have to try almost anything at this point to avoid being swept in this year’s edition of the Western Conference Finals.
Ahead of the action on Monday night, the Lakers find themselves as home favorites over the Nuggets at -3.5.
A collective effort and a far cry from last season
Most of the core of this Nuggets’ team is still present from last season, but with all of the injuries that happened you would not even recognize the similarities between the two.
With a front office that has been patient with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. ‘s development, they were able to add a ton of pieces in trades and free-agent signings that have unlocked the offense in the best way possible.
Jokic has never thrived any better than he currently is right now, and this playoff run that he has been on will be remembered in the history books for years to come.
Closing the book on the Lakers chance to contend
After taking part initially in the play-in tournament, the Lakers showed the league that with the right kind of leadership, any team can make it as far as they want to go.
LeBron James, at 38 years old, does appear to finally be out of gas, and it showed in the fourth quarter of game three when he continued to settle for jump shots instead of going to the basket.
The season is far from a disappointment, and this Lakers’ team has far overachieved what anyone thought they could be. The Nuggets just happen to be a little bit better through three games.
Nuggets @ Lakers Betting Prediction
Despite dropping the first three games of the series, the Lakers are still favored in the game four matchup on Monday night, and will be in full desperation mode to try and steal one win in the series.
Both James and Anthony Davis look like they have given all that they can, but they still have to try and take the series one game at a time.
No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit, but there always has to be a first time for everything.
Take the Lakers to defend home court for at least this one game at -3.5.
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