The roller coaster 2022-23 season has officially come to an end for the LA Lakers. For the first half of the season, it was unclear whether the Lakers would even make the playoffs. They made some big-time moves at the trade deadline, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Nuggets. Coming out of their Game 4 loss, the LA Lakers are now 0-9 all-time when going down 3-0 in a series.
It was win-or-go-home for the Lakers last night and LeBron James came out with a purpose. He scored 21 points in the first quarter and had 31 by the half. James joined his teammate Anthony Davis as the only two Lakers to score at least 30 points in a playoff half in the last 25 postseasons.
After a crushing loss in Game 4, it’s going to be a long offseason for the Lakers. Even LeBron James was visibly upset after getting his shot blocked to end the game. He was even contemplating retirement after the game and spoke to the media about it.
The Lakers have still never even won a playoff game after going down 3-0.
Their 0-9 record is the most losses without a win in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/Do9hftcR5P
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 23, 2023
Despite a near triple-double from LeBron, the Lakers were swept by the Denver Nuggets
The Lakers came out with a strong first-half performance in Game 4 last night and led, 73-58. Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets would erase that third-quarter deficit and the game was tied 94-94 heading into the fourth. It was a back-and-forth game and both teams were dealing blows.
With about five minutes left in the game, Nikola Jokic received his fifth foul in the game. One more and he would foul out, something Denver did not want to happen. The two-time MVP played it smart and was able to stay in the game without receiving that sixth foul.
Jokic would bury an off-balance jump shot with less than a minute left in the game. His shot would turn out to be the game-winner as the Nuggets stopped the Lakers on their final possession. Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon played suffocating defense on LeBron James. Gordon blocked James’ shot as the final buzzer sounded. Denver stormed the court and they are on the way to their franchise’s first NBA Finals appearance.