James and Davis put Lak­ers in com­mand

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

OR­LANDO: An­thony Davis and LeBron James com­bined for 60 points as the top-seeded Los An­ge­les Lak­ers seized con­trol of their Western Con­fer­ence fi­nals se­ries with a 114-108 vic­tory over the Den­ver Nuggets on Thurs­day.

James fin­ished with 26 points, nine re­bounds, and eight as­sists and Davis had 34 points as Lak­ers held on to beat the Nuggets and take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven se­ries in the NBA’s quar­an­tine bub­ble in Or­lando, Florida.

Game Five is to­mor­row, Thai time. The Lak­ers have wrapped up both their pre­vi­ous se­ries in five games.

Cana­dian for­ward Ja­mal Mur­ray led the Nuggets with 32 points and eight as­sists, while Jerami Grant fin­ished with 17 for Den­ver. Ser­bia’s Nikola Jo­kic was held in check most of the game and fin­ished with a dis­ap­point­ing 16 points. He missed all four field goal at­tempts in the fourth.

James took it upon him­self to guard Mur­ray with the game on the line.

“He’s is one of the hottest guys in the bub­ble,” said James. “He’s very shifty to guard. I just use my length and ath­leti­cism, high hand him and meet him at the bas­ket.”

“I ap­pre­ci­ate the re­spect but we didn’t win the game,” Mur­ray said.

Den­ver have dug an­other big hole in these play-offs and if they are go­ing to ad­vance to the NBA fi­nals they will have to come back from a 3-1 deficit for the third straight se­ries.

Den­ver lost game four in each of their first two se­ries against Utah and the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers be­fore mak­ing a pair of his­toric come­backs.

Ken­tavi­ous Cald­well-Pope had 13 points and Ra­jon Rondo tal­lied 11 points for the Lak­ers, who bounced back from a loss in game three in which they re­bounded poorly by outscor­ing the Nuggets 25-6 in sec­ond-chance points on Thurs­day.

“We knew com­ing in that we didn’t re­bound at all [in Game Three] and we just tried to change that,” said James.

Den­ver missed their last five shots of the game as the Lak­ers played bet­ter down the stretch.

AFP

The Lak­ers’ An­thony Davis, left, and LeBron James cel­e­brate their win.

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