It never looked secure, but the Los Angeles Lakers did it. After dropping Game 3 to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, the Lakers came back and won Game 4, 114-108, giving them a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
Any discussion about Game 4 needs to start with Anthony Davis, for both good and bad reasons. Davis was unconscious from the field on Thursday, scoring 34 points on 10-15 shooting from the field. His first seven field goal attempts went in.
Unfortunately, Davis’ night came to a standstill midway through the fourth quarter, when he fell to the floor and grabbed his ankle in pain. He was able to get up and finish the game, but now there is a big question mark about his health moving forward.
If Davis isn’t good to go — or limited in any way — for Game 5, the Lakers will need more from LeBron James than they got from him in Game 4, at least in the scoring column.
James finished Thursday night’s contest with 26 points, but on a disappointing 7-18 shooting from the field. For some reason, his jump shots just couldn’t seem to find the bottom of the net, which is an issue when there aren’t many jump shooters on the roster, and when the Nuggets are crowding the paint as much as they have been.
Aside from his cold shooting night, James was his usual self, tallying 9 rebounds and 8 assists in 37:22. He also played excellent defense on Jamal Murray (who exploded for 32 points in the game) down the stretch.
Additionally, Dwight Howard stuffed the box score in his first start of the postseason for the Lakers, recording 12 points, 11 rebounds, an assist and a steal. Six different Lakers finished the game in double figures.
The Lakers will have an opportunity to close out the series at 6:00 p.m. PT on Saturday, but the Nuggets seem to have the formula for coming back from a 3-1 deficit. It should be a fun game, even if it promises to be a stressful one, too. And the Lakers are one win away from their first trip to the NBA Finals since 2010.