Nuggets' role player makes NBA history in 8th straight win over Lakers

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers
Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Nuggets used a dominant fourth-quarter stretch to pull away and close out the Lakers 124-114. With the win, Denver has swept the season series 3-0 after of course sweeping Los Angeles out of the Western Conference Finals last season, and they’ve now beat them eight straight times overall.

The last time the Lakers beat the Nuggets was in 2022. If you’ve watched any of the previous seven matchups, this game likely looked pretty familiar. The Lakers played well and kept it close for much of the game, leading into the fourth quarter, before the Nuggets went on a big run in crunch time to open up a decisive lead.

The usual suspects led the way for Denver, as Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray were excellent, especially down the stretch. Jokic had 35 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists on 16/25 shooting, while Murray added 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 11 assists. 

A night full of NBA history

But it was a less likely hero who came through in a big way; Michael Porter Jr. Porter was huge in this one with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists. But more notably, he shot 10/10 from the field and 5/5 from three-point range.

That’s certainly an impressive stat line, and in fact, it’s so impressive it has never been done before. Porter became the first player in the history of the NBA to attempt at least 10 shots and at least 5 threes without missing an attempt.

It was a perfect night for Porter, and the Nuggets needed it to finish off the Lakers in L.A. on a night when LeBron James made history of his own, becoming the first player in NBA history to score 40,000 career points.

Nuggets' crunch time heroics

But ultimately, it was the Nuggets who won the night and spoiled the moment for King James. They were nearly perfect as a team when it mattered most, as the Nuggets made eight of their final nine shot attempts, and scored on their final eight possessions.

After a James basket gave the Lakers a 110-108 lead with just over four minutes to play, Denver closed the game on a 16-4 run, yet another dominant clutch performance. This performance in a national spotlight game should serve as a loud reminder to the league that the NBA championship still goes through Denver.