These are familiar waters for the Denver Nuggets. After being the only team in NBA history to come back from down 3-1 twice in a postseason, we have learned to never count them out. But this time feels different. After “filing an official complaint” to league offices that LeBron James wasn’t receiving enough foul calls, surprise surprise, LeBron got to the line 14 times while posting a 26-9-8 in the Lakers 114-108 win over Denver.

“We played great down the stretch, we played great overall,” Anthony Davis said. “Still some things that we can fix if we want to put this thing away.” Davis also had an elite night as the leading scorer at 34 points.

On Denver’s end, coach Michael Malone made pointed comments about the teams’ defensive effort and that players who are subpar on that end won’t be seeing the floor as often. “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.” This is likely aimed towards rookie forward Michael Porter Jr., who is an elite prospect on the offensive end, but a turnstile on defense. Malone also has been reluctant this past season to play Porter Jr. at all before the rookie emerged as a key cog in Denver’s playoff run.

The Nuggets have been here plenty of times, before but this time does actually feel different. Davis and LeBron are different animals, and they will be looking to kill in one of the next two games. Denver has shown their resilience, but it will be a massive struggle to survive when the two Lakers’ stars decide to turn it on.

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