The star forward Lebron James shone brighter than ever and with a triple-double of 38 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists, guided this Saturday to Los Angeles Lakers to a 117-107 victory over the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, which they won 4-1 to the best of seven and they reached the Finals of the NBA.
The Lakers, who have 16 titles under their belt, reached the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010 when they won the second consecutive title under the leadership of the former guard-forward Kobe bryant and the Spanish pivot Pau Gasol.
This time James’ sidekick, who had his 27th triple-double in the playoffs and will play for the tenth time in the NBA Finals, was the pivot Anthony Davis, who finished the game as the second highest scorer by getting 27 points.
Two other Lakers players got double-digit numbers, the shooting guard Danny green and the base reserves Alex Caruso, who contributed 11 points each.
The Nuggets, for the first time so far in the playoffs could not overcome a deficit of 1-3 after having done it consecutively against the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers.
James, who had a fourth masterful period, became the fourth player to reach the NBA Finals 10.
It took him two seasons to make it with the Lakers, after failing to make the playoffs in an injury-plagued first season after eight consecutive trips with Miami and Cleveland, with whom in 2007 he played his first NBA Finals, which they lost to the San Antonio Spurs.
“My teammates said we had to win and it was my responsibility to try to make the plays and the right things on the field to help us achieve success, “James declared during a trophy presentation in a nearly empty stadium at Disney World.
The Lakers They will face the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics, who are fighting for the Eastern Conference title, with a 3-2 advantage for the former.
The Los Angeles team will make its thirty-second appearance in the NBA Finals, the most in the history of the league. They haven’t played for the title since they beat (4-3) the Celtics in 2010 for the last of their 16 titles.
The Serbian pivot Nikola Jokic, with personal problems, and the power forward Jerami grant they scored 20 points each for the Nuggets, who had fought elimination six times before the Lakers finally eliminated them.
The Canadian base Jamal murray added 19 points and eight assists, but the Nuggets star had to playing with physical discomfort in the right knee, injured in the fourth game when she suffered a concussion, and prevented her throughout the match from maintaining her best level when exploiting her speed and aggressiveness in attacking actions.
The Nuggets coach, Michael Malone, had had it as doubtful until hours before the game began, that had it not been decisive for his team he would not have come out to play.
The Nuggets had come back from 1-3 deficits twice, the first time a month ago against the Jazz in the opening round of the playoffs, which would have struggled to leave the Orlando bubble.
Again, the Nuggets followed the same pattern as in the previous qualifiers, getting down with 1-3, partly because of Davis’ “miracle” triple in Game 2, and this time James didn’t let them make another comeback.
The lead was 72-56 within four minutes of the third period with Murray limping but the Nuggets, who were 15 down in the third quarter Game 5 against Utah and 16 on the same stage as Game 5 against the Clippers, put together a comeback led in large part by Grant.
The Nuggets they managed to tie at 84 with two free throws scored by Murray, before Davis hit a triple with a second to go.
James hit back-to-back baskets while fouled early in the fourth period, taking a two-point lead to 95-88.
When Denver made one last attempt to cut the deficit to four, James set up a pass to Green for a triple for his 10th assist of the game, and then the Lakers star launched a jump shot that allowed the team angelino get with partial 108-99 that would be the decisive one.
The Nuggets became the 16th team in NBA history to lose 10 games in a single postseason. The record is 11, shared by four clubs, the most recent being the 2009 Orlando Magic.
They also became the second team in play at least 19 games in a single tiebreaker and finish with a record below .500; They were 9-10, much like the Washington Bullets in the 1979 postseason.
While the Lakers and his new coach Frank Vogel said Davis was upset with mild pain after spraining his left ankle in the fourth quarter of Game 4, but it was not noticeable against the Nuggets and he again landed a major basket.