Lakers survive elimination with win over Nuggets

Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
The Lakers finally snapped the Nuggets' 11-game winning streak against them and forced a Game 5 on Monday night in Denver.

LOS ANGELES — The Lakers will live to fight another day.

Los Angeles shockingly led the entire way as they held off and defeated the Denver Nuggets in a wire-to-wire win, 119-108. The Lakers extend the series to a Game 5 but are still down, 3-1, against the defending champions.

The avalanche that has become familiar with the Nuggets never came as the Lakers executed their game much better for all 48 minutes. The Lakers took care of what had ailed them most (if not all) of the series: the rebounding, Aaron Gordon’s hustle, and D’Angelo Russell’s offense.

Anthony Davis gobbled up 23 rebounds to go along with his 25 points and six assists as the Lakers were +6 on the boards. Gordon, who went for postseason career bests of 29 points and 15 rebounds in Game 3, was limited to nine points and three rebounds. As for D’Angelo Russell, he made his first bucket early in the game and it gave him the boost to end up with 21 points in the game.

The Lakers went up as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter before the Nuggets went for one last push. Denver did slice it down to seven points with under a minute to go but it was too little, too late for the champions.

LeBron James led L.A. in scoring with 30 points, 14 in that all-important fourth quarter. Austin Reaves scored 21 to make it four Lakers over 20 points. As for the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic had a triple-double with 33 points, 14 rebounds, and 14 assists. Michael Porter, Jr. ended with 29 points and 11 boards while Jamal Murray scored 22.

The supporting cast did better for Los Angeles and it enabled for them to halt their 11-game losing streak against the Nuggets. The Lakers go back to Denver on Monday as they will get another shot to extend the series and take it back to the City of Angels.