Lakers on the verge of NBA Finals return

AAP
LA Lakers' Anthony Davis and LeBron James combined for 60 points in their NBA win over Denver.
Camera IconLA Lakers' Anthony Davis and LeBron James combined for 60 points in their NBA win over Denver.

The Los Angeles Lakers are a victory away from returning to the NBA Finals for the first time in 10 years.

Only another record-setting comeback from 3-1 down by the Denver Nuggets can stop the Lakers.

Anthony Davis scored 34 points, LeBron James had 26 and the Lakers beat the Nuggets 114-108 on Thursday night in Game 4 of the western conference finals.

"We played great down the stretch, we played great overall," Davis said.

"Still some things that we can fix if we want to put this thing away."

Davis got the Lakers off to a fast start with his scoring and James helped them finish it with his defence, forcing Jamal Murray into some late misses after the guard had kept the Nuggets in it with an array of high-difficulty baskets.

"I knew it was winning time and Jamal had it going," James said.

James added nine rebounds and eight assists, and the Lakers had 12 offensive rebounds for a whopping 25-6 advantage in second-chance points.

"This is the Western Conference finals, Game 4. If you can't help us on the defensive end, maybe you shouldn't be on the floor," Denver coach Michael Malone said.

"We have to be able to lock in, finish with a rebound. We had too many empty possessions tonight."

LA started Dwight Howard at centre in a surprise move and he had 12 points and 11 rebounds, helping put Nikola Jokic into foul trouble.

Murray had 32 points and eight assist as Jokic finished with just 16 points and seven rebounds.

Game 5 is Saturday night, when the Lakers can reach the NBA Finals for the first time in a decade.

The Nuggets will be facing elimination for the seventh time in the bubble.

They were down 3-1 against Utah in the first round and climbed out of the same hole against the Los Angeles Clippers in the conference semi-finals.

The Lakers have 16 championships, one behind the Boston Celtics for the most in NBA history, but they haven't played for one since winning their most recent title in 2010.

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