There will be no LeBron James and the LA Lakers in the NBA Finals this year.
Hollywood was knocked out of the NBA Playoffs after a 113-111 loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, meaning Denver not only completes the sweep, but they advance to their first ever NBA Finals.
The Miami Heat could join them in the Finals as soon as this evening. The Heat hold 3-0 series lead over the Boston Celtics.
Roll the tape pic.twitter.com/1ZzyHqn5N1— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) May 23, 2023
"The most satisfying part about the journey is who I'm on the journey with." pic.twitter.com/kE5xPQnw3f— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) May 23, 2023
As he has all season, Nikola Jocic led the way for the Nuggets with a triple-double, 30 points, 14 boards, and 13 assists. The Triple-Double was his eighth of the playoffs, breaking Wilt Chamberlin’s record set back in 1967.
Jamal Murray was also exceptional, scoring 25 points in the victory. Aaron Gordon also had a big night contributing 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting.
The Nuggets are now the seventh NBA Franchise to make its first ever NBA Finals appearance in this century, joining the Heat (first appearance, 2006); Dallas Mavericks (first appearance, 2006); Cleveland Cavaliers first appearance, 2007); Indiana Pacers (first appearance, 2000); Brooklyn/New Jersey Nets (first appearance, 2002), and Toronto Raptors (first appearance, 2019).
The Nuggets will also try to attempt to become the 12th NBA Team (including the defunct Baltimore Bullets) to win the NBA Finals in its first ever trip to the Big Dance. The last team to win the Finals in its first appearance were the Toronto Raptors just four short years ago when Kawhi Leonard went off against the Golden State Warriors.
Fifth is the charm: This was Denver’s fifth ever appearance in the Western Conference Finals, they were 0-4 in its previous stops, losing to the then-Seattle SuperSonics in 1978 and losing to the Lakers three times in 1985, 2009 and 2020.