By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
The two ways to look at a series involving the Denver Nuggets at 3-1 vary far away from each other, the Los Angeles Lakers fully understand. Following the Game 4 win, head coach Frank Vogel clarified that the Western Conference finals best-of-seven series is not over.
“They have done it twice this year. They are extremely difficult to play against on both sides of the ball,” he said regarding the Nuggets coming back from 3-1 deficits twice in the current NBA postseason, “We have a lot to work to do to finish this series.”
Anthony Davis put up a game-high 34 points Thursday. He suffered an ankle injury in the fourth quarter but after the game claimed that he is fine.
“Both teams are familiar in 3-1 situations,” he said reminding that the Lakers prevailed in their previous Game 5 assignments up 3-1, “We have to put them away. They will continue to fight.”
The second way to look at it is actually approaching the NBA finals, one win away to be exact. Game 4 featured LeBron James opting to guard red-hot Jamal Murray down the stretch. His defensive effort was instrumental in picking up the 3-1 lead.
“I knew it was winning time and Jamal had it going,” he said, “The kid is special. He has an array of shots, the triple threat, from the three, from the midrange, and also in the paint. I told my teammates that I had him and everyone else can kind of stay at bay and stay at home and I was able to get a couple of stops and rebound the basketball, which is the most important thing.”
His key contribution was widely recognized following the contest.
“He just loves the challenges,” remarked teammate Davis, “He wants to guard the best player and take on those challenges. He’s a great defensive player.”
“LeBron asked for the assignment and did a great job down the stretch trying to contain him one-on-one,” added Vogel.
Up next, Game 5 on Saturday.
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