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NBA Western Conference Finals: Game 5

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Western Conference Finals

Denver Nuggets were this seasons comeback kids. Coming back from a 3-1 deficit twice in this postseason. But this time, against Lebron in the Western Conference Finals it couldn’t be done. The Lakers will face either Miami or Boston in their 32nd NBA Finals appearance, the most in league history. They haven’t played for the title since beating the Celtics in 2010 for the last of their 16 championships and hadn’t even made the postseason in the last six seasons.

 

Denver Nuggets 107-117 Los Angeles Lakers

James punctuated his 27th postseason triple-double with a big fourth quarter, powering the Lakers to a 117-107 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night to win the Western Conference finals in five games.

Lebron James wore out the path to the NBA Finals in the Eastern Conference, making annual trips out of Miami and Cleveland. Now he’s the best in the West. And for the first time in a decade, so are the Los Angeles Lakers.

James finished with 38 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to become the fourth player to reach 10 NBA Finals. It took him two seasons to make it with the Lakers, after falling short of the playoffs in an injury-plagued first season following eight consecutive trips with Miami and Cleveland.

“For me personally the job is not done,” James said.

“For us as a franchise, I’m extremely proud to be a part of this franchise getting back to where it belongs and that’s playing for championships and competing for championships, representing the Western Conference this year in the championships. So, this is what I came here for.”

“We battled through a lot this year starting with the beginning of the season and we know the job’s not done,” Davis said during a trophy presentation in a mostly empty arena at Disney World, instead of in front of their fans at Staples Center. “It’s a great feeling but we’ve got four more to win.”

“It’s not the end goal but to make it as far and surprise as many people as we did, it’s a good feeling,” Murray said. “So, try to come back next year and try to come back stronger.”

Denver fell far behind one more time but James wouldn’t allow another comeback. He scored 16 points in the fourth quarter.

“We were playing against a guy who this is routine for him and so we take some solace in that,” Malone said, “and my challenge to our group is that we’ll be back.”

Only Celtics Hall of Famers Bill Russell, with 12, and Sam Jones with 11 have reached more NBA Finals than James.

 

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