The Denver Nuggets is the 2023 WCF Champs!
The Denver Nuggets were able to sweep the Los Angeles Lakers, 113-111 to take the NBA Western Conference (WCF) title on May 23.
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets to the win, thanks to his 45-minute performance where he posted 30 points, 14 rebounds, and 13 assists—his eighth triple-double in this playoffs. By recording such stats, the two-time MVP broke the 57-year-old record of Wilt Chamberlain when he recorded seven triple-doubles playing for the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1966-67 postseason.
But while Jokic had an impressive night, Jamal Murray who was rumored to be traded, shot extremely well in this four-game series.
In Game 4, Murray had 25 points in 10-18 shooting. He also had three rebounds, five assists, two steals, and a block to help Jokic get the conference title.
Meanwhile, the Lakers had LeBron James going off for 31 in the first half. Unfortunately, the 38-year-old superstar could not keep his team afloat, particularly after the Nuggets made some adjustments going into the second half.
James finished the game with a 40-point bomb, including ten rebounds, nine assists, and two steals. He was also a marksman from deep, hitting four of his seven attempts.
Anthony Davis was also great, having 21 points and 14 boards, including three blocks. But with three Denver Nuggets players going past beyond 20 points, the Lakers had to accept defeat.
With the Nuggets advancing to the Finals for the first time, they ended the 47-year drought of the franchise. Not only that, but Jokic ended the conference with a monstrous stat line: 27.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 11.8 assists, all while hitting 50.6%-47.1%-77.8% splits.
LeBron James Respects Denver Nuggets
In the press conference following their defeat, James showed respect to the team that beat them, and described the Denver Nuggets as one of the best teams he had ever faced as a Lakeshow.
“Me and AD were just talking in the locker room (and) we came to the consensus this is one of the best teams, if not the best team, we’ve played together for all four years,” James said of the Nuggets.
“Just well-orchestrated, well put together. They have scoring. They have shooting. They have playmaking. They have smarts. They have length. They have depth. And one thing about their team, when you have a guy like Jokic, who as big as he is but also as cerebral as he is, you can’t really make many mistakes versus a guy like that.”
Now that the Western Conference Finals has reached its conclusion, the Nuggets and bettors now await between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics, with the former looking to sweep the latter as well.