Denver Nuggets Sweep Lakers to Head to NBA Finals

All the while, Darvin Ham, their first-year head coach, reminded them how few people expected them to even make the playoffs.

But the Nuggets turned out to be a different type of opponent. They were more cohesive, less dramatic and stronger at center than Memphis and Golden State.

“We competed every night,” Ham said. “We competed every game in this series. I just told the guys to take stock of what this meant, what this feeling feels like right now, what we went through in an entire season and what we had to do to get to this point.”

In the Lakers’ first two series, their opponents sniped at them verbally, whether it was Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks calling James, 38, old, or the Warriors accusing them of flopping for favorable calls. The Nuggets took a different approach, showing deference off the court until the very end.

“I’m not going to say that I’m scared, but I’m worried,” Jokic said after Denver’s Game 3 win. “Because they have LeBron on the other side, and he is capable of doing everything.”

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