Paul Pierce implies the Lakers now have to waste a flight to Denver just to get eliminated

Orel Dizon
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers staved off elimination by defeating the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. The series now stands 3-1, with the teams heading back to Denver for Game 5.

Retired NBA legend Paul Pierce thinks Los Angeles just prolonged the inevitable and predicted that the Nuggets will take care of business on Monday and finish the series. He also appeared to poke fun at the Lakers for having to fly to Denver just to get eliminated.

Of course, a miracle could still happen for LeBron James and company. After all, their playoff games against the Nuggets in their Western Conference Finals matchup last season were highly competitive, so it’s not as if Denver has completely dominated the Lakers.

In the teams’ first-round matchup this year, Los Angeles has held a double-digit lead in the first half of each game so far. While the Nuggets were able to mount comeback victories in the first three meetings to put the Lakers on the verge of elimination, the Purple and Gold managed to hold onto the lead and earn a win in Game 4.

Several players stepped up for the Lakers. James led the way, scoring 30 on a 14-for-23 shooting clip, while Anthony Davis registered a monster game with 25 points and 23 rebounds. In addition, the starting backcourt of Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell combined for 42 points.

It remains to be seen if Pierce’s forecast will come to pass or if the Lakers can extend the series at least once more. It will be a tall task, though, as Denver had a 33-8 record at home in the regular season.

On the other hand, Los Angeles seems to have found a way to give Denver some trouble. It pounded the ball inside the paint on Saturday, scoring 72 in the shaded area. But the Nuggets might be prepared better for that strategy going into the Monday showdown.

While Denver has three opportunities to close out the series, it might be in the squad’s best interest not to let the round extend any longer to give its players more time to get ready for its next opponent, which is likely to be the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Orel's passion for sports stems from following Michael Jordan’s last title runs with the Chicago Bulls and his namesake Orel Hershiser’s Cleveland Indians tenure in the late 1990s.