Nuggets Eliminate Lakers in Dramatic Game 5 Getty

Nuggets Eliminate Lakers in Dramatic Game 5



April 30th, 2024

In a thrilling conclusion to a hard-fought series, the Denver Nuggets eliminate the Los Angeles Lakers 108-106 in Game 5 to secure their spot in the second round of the playoffs. The victory, sealed by a game-winning buzzer-beater from Jamal Murray, marked LeBron James' earliest playoff exit in his illustrious career.

Murray Defies the Odds

Despite battling a left calf injury and initial hesitation from the coaching staff, Murray emerged as the hero for Denver. Overcoming management's suggestion to sit out, Murray poured in a team-high 32 points, including the clutch game-winner with just 3.6 seconds remaining. This buzzer-beater marked the franchise's first ever in the playoffs, adding another layer of significance to Murray's performance.

"Shout-out to the Lakers, they gave us a great series," said Murray, who also delivered a clutch buzzer-beater in Game 2. "Those are shots that you dream of as a little kid," he continued, emphasizing the special nature of his game-winning play.

Murray's determination proved pivotal. Against initial resistance from the coaching staff, his unwavering desire to play for his team ultimately paid off. "I came in a little earlier today to see if I was going to be able to go," Murray recounted. "They told me no... And I didn't say no. I didn't want to leave my teammates out there."

A Back-and-Forth Battle

The entire series was a nail-biter, with 16 lead changes and 10 ties in Game 5 alone. LeBron James, despite facing his earliest playoff exit ever, put up a valiant effort with 30 points and 11 assists. Anthony Davis also contributed a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds, but appeared hampered by a shoulder injury late in the game.

Nikola Jokic, the reigning MVP, narrowly missed a triple-double with 25 points, 20 rebounds, and 9 assists. Michael Porter Jr. chipped in with a crucial 26 points for Denver.

Looking Ahead

The Nuggets will now face the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round, a series that promises another exciting matchup. Denver will have the home-court advantage, boasting a league-best 36-8 record at home during the regular season, including a perfect 3-0 record in the playoffs so far.

While disappointed with the outcome, Lakers coach Darvin Ham commended his team's fighting spirit. "I couldn't be more proud of our crew despite everything that happened," he said. "Obviously, the series didn't go in our favor... but our guys showed a lot of guts and a lot of character."

This series loss marks only the second time James has been eliminated in the first round. The Lakers will undoubtedly use this experience as fuel for improvement in the upcoming season.

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tag: Nuggets , Lakers

Klind Parangoni Author

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