The Denver Nuggets blew up all the odds after eliminating the Los Angeles Clippers and being the Lakers’ next rivals in the Western Conference finals. While the Miami Heat, in overtime, started the Eastern Conference finals with a victory over the Boston Celtics, who also came as favorites.
History repeated itself, the Nuggets, with Canadian point guard Jamal Murray and Serbian center Nikola Jokic, came from two defeats and after beating the Clippers 104-89 in the decisive seventh game, they ended up scoring 4-3 in the series at best of seven.
The Lakers, star forward LeBron James, await them, who beat the Houston Rockets 4-1 in the other semifinal tie.
The Nuggets, who will play their first finals since 2009, had Murray as the great figure who contributed 40 points, after scoring 15 of 26 shots from the field, including 6 of 13 3-point attempts, and destroyed the Clippers defense, that for the eighth time (8-0) are left without winning in a decisive elimination match.
Along with Murray, who also dished out five assists and grabbed four rebounds, Jokic made his presence felt in the inside game and also beat the Clippers’ marks.
Jokic was once again the most complete player of the game with a triple-double of 16 points, 22 rebounds -19 defensive, 13 assists, recovered two balls and put up three blocks in 40 minutes.
The Serbian international center set the best team record in playoff games with 22 rebounds and broke his own record from last year that he shared with former Marcus Camby (19).
Starting power forward Jerami Grant and forward Gary Harris each had 14 points and completed the list of the four Nuggets starters who finished the game with double-digit numbers and allowed their coach Michael Malone to have the best gift of ever. his 49th birthday.
Despite the additions of star forward Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers did not reach the conference finals, where they have never been in their entire history.
Plus, they are 0-8 in games that could secure a trip to the conference finals.
Leonard finished with 14 points on 6 of 22 shots, including 2 of 7 triples, grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists, without it being the winning factor.
The same thing happened to George, who had to settle for just 10 points, after missing 4 of 16 shots from the field, including 2 of 11 from outside the perimeter.
Backup center Montrezl Harrell led the Clippers with 20 points and three rebounds.