Facing down the barrel of a gun, the Los Angeles Lakers went into Game 4 at the Crypto.com Arena needing a victory to prolong their 2023-24 season. Much like the first three games of the series, the Lakers managed to get off to a quick start in the first half and managed to go into the second half with a 61-48 lead.

Anthony Davis had 17 points and 11 rebounds while making 8 of 10 shots in the first half while LeBron James contributed 14 points, three assists, two steals and a block while shooting 7 of 10. Austin Reaves had a strong first half as well with 13 points and five assists.

The question that they had to answer, however, was whether or not they could keep their foot on the gas and outscore the Nuggets in the most important 24 minutes of their seasons. They had a (27-47) 57.4% clip on their field goals in the first half and they would need to continue hot shooting to maintain their lead.


The Nuggets didn’t seem to fazed though, having seen the situation so many times already. Nikola Jokic already had 15 points, eight rebounds, six assists and a block in the first half. Jamal Murray also chipped in 12 points while Michael Porter Jr. added 10 points and six rebounds of his own over the first two quarters. 

The story of the first three games was the Lakers running out of gas down the stretch. They had to overcome that mental and physical block. This time around, the Lakers found the strength to carry on to the end.

They pushed their lead by as much as 19 in the second half as D’Angelo Russell came to life to end the game with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists. Reaves matched his total with 21 points as well.

Davis had a monster game with 25 points, 23 rebounds, six assists and a block on 11 of 17 shooting. James led the Lakers with 30 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block. He made 14 of 23 shot attempts in the do-or-die game to the delight of Lakers fans.

The victory was sweet for Lakers fans, who were understandably elated to finally beat their nemesis in convincing fashion. Anthony Davis, who had one fourth quarter field goal in Game 2 and 3 combined, put his stamp on the game for the full four quarters this time around.

Jokic finished the game with a triple-double of 33 points, 14 rebounds, 14 assists, a steal and a block. That kind of effort would have been enough to win on most days, but that wasn’t the case in Game 4.

Michael Porter Jr. had 27 points and 11 rebounds, while Jamal Murray costs had 22 points, five rebounds and six assists. Aaron Gordon struggled for Denver, making 3 of 7 shots on the way to a quadruple-single of seven points, three rebounds, four assists and a steal. He’ll need to be better in Game 5.

While the Nuggets are still in control, tonight was a good reminder that anything can happen in the NBA. No one’s ever come back from a 0-3 deficit, but the Nuggets won’t want to drag this series for too long considering that their likely opponent is a mighty Minnesota Timberwolves squad that is currently dominating the Phoenix Suns.