Nikola Jokic had 30 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists and the Denver Nuggets advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history on Monday by sweeping the Western Conference Finals series with a 113-game win. 111 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jamal Murray scored 25 points for the top-seeded Nuggets to overcome LeBron James' 31 points in the first half and a 15-point halftime deficit. With a tenacious finish to Game 4 of the series, they clinched their first conference title in 47 seasons.
James finished with 45 points after scoring the most-scoring half in his playoff history, but even the leading scorer in NBA history couldn't stop the dynamic Nuggets from winning their sixth game.
James missed two tying shots in the final seconds and Aaron Gordon reportedly blocked his shot at the buzzer.
Jokic notched his eighth postseason triple-double in the third quarter, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain's 1967 NBA record for most triple-doubles in a playoff run. The Serb also led the Nuggets' tenacious defense despite his fifth foul midway through the fourth quarter — when Denver needed a big score, Jokic delivered.
The Nuggets will look to cap off their incredible season under Michael Malone by playing their first championship series. Denver eliminated the Lakers for the first time in eight playoff meetings and swept a series for the first time to give them several days off before the Finals.
Unless the Boston Celtics make history and come back from a 3-0 deficit in the Eastern Finals, Denver will host the eighth-seeded Miami Heat starting June XNUMX.