Lebron James is back in familiar territory after an absolutely dominating 4th quarter against the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers returns to the NBA Finals with a 117-107 win in Game 5 over the Nuggets. After the game, Lebron was asked about his 10th NBA Finals appearance. He replied that it doesn’t mean sh-t unless they get it done. James scored 16 of his game-high 38 points in the fourth quarter, going 7-for-10 from the field in the final frame. He showcased the rest of his skills throughout the game, with 16 rebounds and 10 assists to record his 27th career playoff triple-double, second only to Magic Johnson’s 30. But James, the NBA’s No. 1 all-time postseason scoring leader, put the ball in the bucket.
His final six made field goals in the fourth quarter were all unassisted, tied for the most solo shots he has made in the fourth quarter of a playoff game of his career. It was the most points he has ever scored in the fourth quarter of a series clincher, and he has had success in quite a few of those, improving to 38-10 (.792) all time in closeout games, the best record in those games by any player in league history (minimum 25 games), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Nuggets was in a familiar position being down 3-1 and trailing in the 4th quarter. This happened in their previous two series against the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers. While Jerami Grant did everything to keep the Nuggets in the game, Lebron was just too much in the end.
Nikola Jokic got in a few buckets, but the Nuggets didn’t have their usual star at full strength. Jamal Murray toughed it out throughout the second half although he was hobbled by a right leg injury. Jamal Murray toughed it out and finished with 19 points. The Los Angeles Lakers will be waiting on the winner of the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat series. The Celtics and Heat play game 6 tonight with Miami up 3 games to 2. If they face the Heat, Lebron will be playing against his former team. James captured his first two championships while being a member of the organization. If they face Boston, this will be a renewal of those Celtics versus Lakers rivalries. Either way, whoever the Lakers play will figure to be an epic series. Actually, the Lakers were my pick to advance over Denver in this series.