Since the middle of the first period, the no.1 seed in the West had the lead, not allowing the rivals to get in front, even though they stayed very close throughout the entire match.
At some points, the LAL had a 12-point lead, but Denver would manage to come back and threaten. The Nuggets’ last such attempt as 46 seconds into the final period, once they cut down the deficit to just one point, 87-86, but without strength to turn the result upside down.
After the game, the Nuggets players and their head coach Michael Malone spoke about the Lakers’ free throws and fouls, complaining that the referees didn’t have the same criteria. Malone said a few words on the fact that the Lakers called out NBA for not having enough free throws on LeBron.
“I’m going to have to go through the proper channels like they did to get some more free throws.”
Eventually, both LeBron and AD had 14 free throws each, while Denver’s two best players had 10 combined. Lakers had 35, Nuggets 23, with the note that Paul Millsap, who guarded Davis, played just 17 minutes because he received two fouls in the space of nine seconds early on, and after that had another two in a short period.
Davis ended the night with 34 points, 5 boards, three steals, shooting 10-for-15 from the floor, and one missed free throw in 14 shots. LeBron had 26, with nine boards and 8 assists. In the last period, he guarded Jamal Murray, having some excellent stops, but also committing several fouls that weren’t whistled according to many.
Caldwell-Pope scored 13 points, Dwight Howard 12 with 11 boards, 5-for-6 from the field, while Rajon Rondo added 11 with seven assists and five boards. Kuzma delivered 10.
With the Nuggets, Jamal Murray had a team-high with 32 points and 8 assists. Nikola Jokic was out of the rhythm scoring just 16 points with seven boards and four assists, and Jerami Grant played another good game with 17 points. Micheal Porter Jr. contributed with 13, and 8 rebounds and Monte Morris had 12.
Game 5 is in two days’ time, this Saturday.