Date & Time: Saturday, September 26th, 9 PM ET (Sunday, 6:30 AM IST)
Venue: AdventHealth Arena, Orlando, FL
The Denver Nuggets are on the brink of elimination from the NBA Western Conference Finals after losing Game 4 to the LA Lakers 108-114. It was a closely-fought encounter that could have gone either way but LeBron James and co. eventually prevailed.
With one foot already in the NBA Finals, the LA Lakers will be looking to finish the job in Game 5. However, the Denver Nuggets have quite the record when down 1-3!
Denver Nuggets Preview
The Denver Nuggets stayed in touching distance of the LA Lakers throughout the 48 minutes of basketball that was played in Game 4 but could never quite race ahead of them.
Coach Mike Malone pointed out two main reasons why the Denver Nuggets fell short - one being the number of second-chance points they gave up, and the other being the free-throw disparity between the two teams.
The Denver Nuggets will certainly feel hard done by some of the calls that the referees made against them in Game 4 but they cannot let that affect their mindset heading into Game 5.
The Denver Nuggets know exactly what it takes to rescue a series from 1-3 down, having done just that in both of the two playoff rounds they played prior to the LA Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
Key Player - Jamal Murray
Hailed as the "hottest player in the bubble right now" by none other than LeBron James, Jamal Murray is well and truly on his way to NBA stardom.
The 23-year-old has been on fire ever since the playoffs began as he dropped 32 points and 8 assists in Game 4 against the LA Lakers. Once again, the onus will be on him to lead the Denver Nuggets offense.
Denver Nuggets Predicted Lineup
LA Lakers Preview
The LA Lakers put in a great shift in Game 4 to come out victorious at the end of the day. LeBron James played some of the best defense he has in recent years to keep Jamal Murray in check during clutch time. If the supporting cast of Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, among others, can keep chipping in with some important plays here and there, the LA Lakers should win Game 5.
The LA Lakers have relied on their big men in this series so far and even handed veteran center Dwight Howard the start in Game 4. The former Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets man repaid coach Vogel's faith in him with a brilliant double-double.
The Denver Nuggets have struggled to contain the LA Lakers' bigs, and Game 5 could be more of the same.
Key Player - Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis had yet another fantastic playoff game as he dropped 34 points on just 15 shots. Davis knocked his first 7 shots down to start the game with and gave Nikola Jokic and co. a torrid time in the paint.
The Denver Nuggets couldn't contain Anthony Davis without fouling him, which made life even harder for them. The 27-year-old injured his left ankle during Game 4 but the LA Lakers are hopeful of a quick recovery.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
LeBron James, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard
Lakers vs Nuggets Prediction
While the Denver Nuggets have proven twice before that they shouldn't be written off even when down 1-3, the LA Lakers are a different ball-game altogether. LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be in no mood of continuing this series beyond Game 5 and are heavily favored to wrap it up on Saturday.
The Denver Nuggets have to stay out of foul trouble in order to force a Game 6, and they will also hope that Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic can both fire at the same time.
Where to watch Lakers vs Nuggets?
Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals will be available on TNT. Fans in India can tune in to Sony Six. One can also catch the live stream of the same via the NBA League Pass.
Published 25 Sep 2020, 12:27 IST