Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) 25 points, 23 rebounds and six assists against the Denver Nuggets in game four of their first round series (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James scored 30 points and center Anthony Davis made 23 rebounds to defeat the Denver Nuggets 119-108 in game four of their first-round series. The match-up marks the first time the Purple and Gold defeated the Nuggets since their 126-108 win on December 16, 2022.

“We’re not going to shut anybody down completely for the entire game, so you just have to be prepared for that onslaught,” said Lakers head coach Darvin Ham. “Make sure you’re doing what you need to do and meeting force with force.”

Denver center Nikola Jokic earned a triple-double: 33 points, 14 rebounds, and 14 assists. The Nuggets trailed for the entire game and tied with the Lakers four times, all four of which came in the first five minutes of the contest.

Ham noted how keeping the scoreboard moving was key for the Lakers; four Lakers players scored over 20 points. Among them was D’Angelo Russell who made 21 points along with four rebounds, four assists, and one steal. Russell mentioned how he continues to believe in himself and how he appreciates the confidence Ham has in him.

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“I think I’ve been through it all before, prepare myself mentally before I go through it again and I prepared for this all summer, all season,” Russell said. “I try to prepare myself for these times now when everybody’s watching, everybody’s got something to say.”

For the first time in the series, the Lakers shot at over 50 percent from the field. This led to 72 points in the paint and 14 second-chance points. Another point of emphasis was winning in the third quarter. While the Nuggets secured a two-point advantage in the third phase (32-30), the Lakers outscored them in the first half and tied with them in the fourth quarter.

“Them beating us by two in the third, we’re still up by 11 or 12,” Lakers guard Austin Reaves said. “Overall a good third quarter.”

Reaves scored 21 points and six assists in the contest. Davis gave 25 points and six assists.

“My teammates are doing a great job of giving me the ball in space and in areas where I can be most effective,” Davis said. “But it’s another challenge going into game five in Denver. We learn from tonight, what we did great, what could be better, try to have some carryover on Monday.”

The Lakers’ offensive effort surged in the fourth quarter. With 7:25 left in regulation, Davis hit a floater to initiate a 9-3 run. This gave the Lakers a 19-point lead with 5:58 left in the game.

“The fourth for me, my mindset is try to close it out,” James said. “Make winning plays and I was able to make a few.”

Lakers aim to remain consistent in game five; James noted how their game on Monday is “the most important game of the season.”

“We have to be able to counter attack but also come in with the same mindset that we have to sustain our effort, we have to sustain our energy,” James said. “Keep attacking.”

The Lakers head to Denver for game five on April 29 at 7:00P.M.