NBA

'One-game series' for LeBron as Lakers secure lifeline with Nuggets win

By Sports Desk April 28, 2024

LeBron James says the Los Angeles Lakers face a "one-game series" against the Denver Nuggets after clinching a lifeline in their Western Conference first-round battle in Game 4.

The Lakers avoided a sweep with Saturday's 119-108 home win over the reigning NBA champions, halting an 11-game losing streak in head-to-head meetings with Denver. 

James had 30 points while Anthony Davis added 25 points and 23 rebounds as Los Angeles finally saw out a lead to stay alive in the playoffs.

They now return to Denver for Game 5 on Monday, knowing no team has ever overturned a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. 

James, however, is taking things one game at a time, saying: "Well, the only opportunity for us is just to play the next game. 

"We've given ourselves another life. We've given ourselves another lifeline, and it's a one-game series for us.

"Monday's game is the most important game of the season for us, and we understand that and we know that, it's at that stage where if you lose, you're done. You win and you keep going."

Davis' 25 points came on 11 of 17 shooting, and he is averaging 30.5 points and 15.8 rebounds throughout a series in which he is often up against likely 2023-24 MVP Nikola Jokic.

Davis attracted scrutiny when he appeared to blame head coach Darvin Ham for the Lakers' defeat in Game 2, but James says he doesn't have anything to prove through the rest of the series.

"AD doesn't have to prove anything to anybody," James said. "He's one of the best bigs we have in the game, one of the best bigs in the world. He's showing that again through the first four games."

Davis, meanwhile, was relieved to see the Lakers produce through four quarters, having squandered a 20-point lead back in Game 2.

"We have a lot of confidence in our team," Davis said. "We've had the lead a lot this series. 

"It's just been our second halves, actually our third quarters, where we haven't been able to execute at scoring the basketball. So our confidence was never lost at any point in the game."

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