James, Lakers beat Nuggets in Game 5 to reach NBA Finals

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — LeBron James goes to a 10th NBA Finals — and for the primary time in a decade, so are the Los Angeles Lakers.

James punctuated his 27th postseason triple-double with a giant fourth quarter, powering the Lakers to a 117-107 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night time to win the Western Convention finals in 5 video games.

James completed with 38 factors, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to turn out to be the fourth participant to succeed in 10 NBA Finals. It took him two seasons to make it with the Lakers, after falling in need of the playoffs in an injury-plagued first season following eight consecutive journeys with Miami and Cleveland.

“My teammates stated convey us dwelling and it was my accountability to attempt to make the precise performs and do the precise issues on the ground to assist us win ballgames,” James stated throughout a trophy presentation in largely empty area at Disney World, as an alternative of in entrance of their followers at Staples Heart.

The Lakers will face both Miami or Boston of their 32nd NBA Finals look, most in league historical past. They have not performed for the title since beating the Celtics in 2010 for the final of their 16 titles.

Anthony Davis added 27 factors and can finish his first season with Los Angeles by taking part in in his first NBA Finals.

“We battled by lots this yr beginning with the start of the season and we all know the job’s not finished,” Davis stated. “It’s a fantastic feeling however we’ve acquired 4 extra to win.”

Nikola Jokic and Jerami Grant every scored 20 factors for the Nuggets, who had fought off elimination six occasions earlier than the Lakers lastly put them away. Jamal Murray added 19 factors and eight assists however the star guard struggled with foot ache and lacked his typical explosiveness.

The Nuggets had come again from 3-1 down within the first two rounds earlier than being lastly ousted a month since they’d have departed the bubble had they misplaced the primary time they confronted elimination, in Recreation 5 towards Utah on Aug. 25.

“It’s not the top aim however to make it as far and shock as many individuals as we did, it’s a very good feeling,” Murray stated. “So, attempt to come again subsequent yr and attempt to come again stronger.”

Denver fell far behind yet one more time however James would not permit one other comeback. Denver coach Michael Malone the distinction in expertise between his younger crew and James, who tied Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for third all-time together with his 10 finals appearances.

“We had been taking part in towards a man who that is routine for him and so we take some solace in that,” Malone stated, “and my problem to our group is that we’ll be again.”

Solely Celtics Corridor of Famers Invoice Russell, with 12, and Sam Jones with 11 have reached extra NBA Finals than James.

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