1 crazy stat shows Lakers dominating majority of series over Nuggets despite trailing

Apr 27, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Laker Girls perform in a time out during the third
Apr 27, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Laker Girls perform in a time out during the third / Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

The Nuggets have seemed to be in complete control of their first-round playoff series with the Los Angeles Lakers and hold a 3-1 lead. The Lakers have started off hot and built up a double-digit lead in each of the four games before the Nuggets seem to make their move and creep their way back into the games.

Even when down in games, it has never really felt like the Lakers were in control, or that the Nuggets were overly worried. And in the first three games, the Nuggets backed up those feelings by pulling out comeback wins to open up a 3-0 lead in the series. But in game 4, the Nuggets were never quite able to get over the hump and LA pulled off a near wire-to-wire win.

Nuggets doing just enough to win games at the end

All of these feelings and the eye test were backed up by a graphic shown on the ESPN broadcast during the fourth quarter of game 4 which stated that at that point in the series, the Lakers had held a lead for 129:06 of game time while the Nuggets had held a lead for just 41:53 and the games had been tied for 14:07.

This stat got even crazier as the Lakers held onto the lead for the final seven minutes of game four. That means the Nuggets have held a lead for just barely 21% of the game action in this first-round playoff series.

Should Nuggets fans be concerned?

The record for smallest percent of game action led by a team that won a playoff series was the Lakers in 2002. They led that series for just 22.5% of a series in which they ultimately defeated the Spurs. The Nuggets are currently tracking to break that record, assuming they can close out this series.

It’s impressive that the Nuggets have been able to win three of these games, but it’s also a concerning trend, and something that could come back to bite them later in the playoffs if the team can’t get off to better starts. Then again, on the other hand, that Lakers team that holds the current record went on to win the title that year. So maybe it’s not a concerning trend after all!