Denver Nuggets Dominate Lakers in Game 4, One Step Closer to NBA Finals
The Denver Nuggets are on the verge of making history as they hold a commanding 3-0 lead over the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals series. Game 4 took place on May 22, 2023, at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California. Despite early foul trouble, Nuggets' star Nikola Jokic managed to finish the game with 24 points, eight assists, and six rebounds, with Jamal Murray stepping up with 30 first-half points and 37 for the game, while former Laker Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 17. The Lakers, led by LeBron James, were unable to stop the Nuggets' hot streak and lost the game 113-111.
The Nuggets have been on fire in the playoffs, winning five games in a row, and are looking to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. They have shown impressive performances throughout the playoffs, with Jokic being a consistent and dominant force on the court. However, Murray has been the unsung hero, scoring at least 31 points in all three games of the series so far.
Despite the Lakers' championship pedigree and the greatness of LeBron James, they have struggled to slow down the Nuggets' star tandem of Jokic and Murray. The Lakers have lost just once on their home floor this postseason, but it was to the Nuggets in Game 3. The Lakers are still favored by 3 points at DraftKings Sportsbook, but the Nuggets have been backed by 76 percent of the spread-line bets and 85 percent of the money.
The Lakers face a tough decision on whether to bench D'Angelo Russell, who has been struggling in the series and has the worst plus-minus (-53) in the series. The Lakers can't afford any mistakes in Game 4, and it won't be surprising if Russell sees even fewer minutes. If the Lakers cannot contain the Nuggets' hot streak, their season will likely end on Monday.
The Nuggets are the better shooting team, especially from long range, and the Lakers' vaunted defense hasn't had much impact. The Lakers still have a significant home-court advantage, but the Nuggets' road splits leave more to be desired. It remains to be seen if the Lakers can come out strong and avoid a sweep by the Nuggets.
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