Lakers finally solve Nuggets, avoid sweep

Anthony Davis had 25 points and 23 rebounds, and LeBron James added 30 points as the Los Angeles Lakers avoided elimination in a first-round Western Conference playoff series with a 119-108 Game 4 victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets on Saturday.

D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves each scored 21 points as the Lakers avoided being swept by the Nuggets for the second straight year. They head back to Denver for Game 5 tonight with the Nuggets leading 3-1 in the series.

Los Angeles shot 52.2 percent from the floor as it ended an 11-game losing streak to Denver. Russell was 8 of 15 shooting and 4 of 8 from 3-point range after missing all seven of his shots from the floor in Game 3.

Nikola Jokic put together his second triple-double of the series with 33 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists. Michael Porter Jr. added 27 points and 11 rebounds as the Nuggets fell to the Lakers for the first time since December 2022.

Celtics 104, Heat 84

Jayson Tatum posted 22 points, 11 rebounds and six assists as visiting Boston regained home-court advantage in its first-round playoff series with Miami, routing the Heat in Game 3.

Boston, the NBA’s top seed, leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 with Game 4 set for Monday in Miami. After losing Game 2 in Boston, the Celtics never trailed in this battle against the eighth-seeded Heat.

The Celtics also got 22 points from Jaylen Brown, who added eight rebounds. Kristaps Porzingis added 18 points and Derrick White added 16 points.

The Heat again played without injured standouts Jimmy Butler (knee) and Terry Rozier (neck). Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 20 points and nine rebounds. Nikola Jovic and Tyler Herro added 15 points each.

Magic 112, Cavaliers 89

Orlando rode a dominant third quarter to emphatically even its best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series with visiting Cleveland, shellacking the Cavs in Game 4.

Franz Wagner had 12 of his game-high 34 points and three teammates chipped in with a combined five 3-pointers in the third, which turned a 60-51 Cavaliers advantage at the break into an 88-70 Magic romp by the third quarter’s end.

Game 5 in a series dominated by the home team is scheduled for Tuesday at Cleveland.

Donovan Mitchell had 18 points and teammates Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley combined for 28 while missing just three shots in a first half in which Cleveland led by as many as 10. But Mitchell never scored again. In fact, the Cavaliers only made four field goals in the entire third quarter.

Thunder 106, Pelicans 85

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 points and visiting Oklahoma City took a 3-0 series lead by routing New Orleans.

Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams added 21 points each and Luguentz Dort had 12 for the No. 1 seed Thunder, who will try to complete a sweep of the Western Conference first-round series Monday night in New Orleans.

Brandon Ingram scored 19 points, CJ McCollum had 16, Herb Jones added 15 and Trey Murphy III chipped in 10. New Orleans’ offense continued to struggle in the absence of injured leading scorer Zion Williamson. The Pelicans fell short of the 92 points they scored in each of the first two losses, shooting just 38.1 percent from the floor and 28.1 percent on 3-pointers. — Field Level Media.

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