The Nuggets are going to the NBA Finals for the first time, coming back from a 15-point halftime deficit to win Game 4, sweeping the Lakers. May 22, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50) reacts to beating the Los Angeles Lakers in game four of the Western Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA playoffs at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in their history, the Denver Nuggets are going to the NBA Finals.

With the Nuggets leading 3-0 and going for the sweep, it looked for much of Monday night’s Game 4 that the Los Angeles Lakers would send the Western Conference Finals series back to Denver for a Game 5. But despite trailing by 15 at halftime, the Nuggets came roaring back. Denver dominated the third quarter to take a five-point lead going into the fourth.

The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth affair. But an off-balance three-pointer from Nikola Jokić signaled that it might have just been Denver’s night.

Trailing by two with four seconds left, Los Angeles had a chance to tie — or even win the game at the end of the fourth quarter. LeBron James drove to his left and put up a shot, but it was blocked. With that, the Nuggets completed the four-game sweep.

Basketball reacted to the Nuggets sweeping LeBron James and the Lakers to reach their first NBA Finals.

The next step for Denver is the NBA Finals, which will begin on Thursday, June 1.

If the Miami Heat — who currently lead the Boston Celtics 3-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals — close that series out, the Nuggets will have home-court advantage in that series. Should the Celtics mount a comeback and beat the Heat, Boston will have home court.

The Nuggets, along with the San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers and New York Nets (now Brooklyn Nets), joined the NBA in 1976 as part of the merger with the ABA. Denver is now the last of those teams to qualify for an NBA Finals.

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