By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Anthony Davis and LeBron James plus starting Dwight Howard paced the Los Angeles Lakers for the 114-108 win over the Denver Nuggets in the NBA bubble set up in Orlando. Thursday’s win bumped them to a 3-1 in the Western Conference finals best-of-seven series.
Davis, 27, behind 10/15 from the field racked up 34 points, also registered five rebounds, three assists, and three steals over 41 minutes. James added 26 points, nine rebounds, and eight steals threw in key defensive efforts as well containing Jamal Murray down the stretch.
The trick versus Nikola Jokic was upgrading Howard to a starter. He didn’t play at all in the conference semifinals series opposite to the Houston Rockets due to small-ball adjustments and came off the bench so far against the Nuggets, but Game 4 saw him produce a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double and force the Joker into early foul trouble.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope went for 13 points. Reserve Rajon Rondo had 11 points, seven assists, and five rebounds. Another bench player, Kyle Kuzma added 10 points.
Murray posted a team-high 32 points in losing effort. Jerami Grant scored 17, Jokic combined his 16 with seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals, Michael Porter Jr. finished with 13 points, and Monte Morris with 12.
The Nuggets are down 3-1 for the third time in the current postseason. Being here means they managed to pull themselves up in all six must-win playoffs games.
Game 5 is planned to take place Saturday.
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