LeBron James, Lakers Eliminated by Jokić, Nuggets as Fans Question End of NBA Era

Scott LogoFeatured Columnist IVApril 30, 2024

DENVER, CO - APRIL 29: Jamal Murray (27) of the Denver Nuggets hits a floater over LeBron James (23) of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first quarter at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado on Monday, April 29, 2024. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post

The Los Angeles Lakers are going to see Jamal Murray in their nightmares throughout the offseason.

The Denver Nuggets guard, who already hit a buzzer-beater to win Game 2 of their first-round series against the Purple and Gold, ended Los Angeles’ season with a jumper in the final seconds of Monday’s Game 5 at Ball Arena. The Lakers’ desperation shot at the buzzer was well short, and the Nuggets celebrated a 108-106 victory as they advanced to the second round.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport



Bleacher Report @BleacherReport


As for the Lakers, they went a combined 1-8 against the reigning champions in the playoffs the last two seasons and didn’t have enough firepower on the road even with an incredible game from LeBron James.

Murray (32 points and seven assists), Nikola Jokić (25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists) and Michael Porter Jr. (26 points) were all excellent, while double-doubles from James (30 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds and four steals) and Anthony Davis (17 points and 15 rebounds) were not enough for the Lakers.

The elimination of James meant one more legend will not play in the second round, which is something social media noticed:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Lakers since 2020 bubble championship:

2021: 1st round loss vs. Suns ❌
2022: Missed playoffs ❌
2023: Swept in WCF vs. Nuggets 🧹
2024: 1st round loss vs. Nuggets ❌


Sam Olbur @SamOlbur

LeBron Curry and KD combined for 1 playoff win. A new era.

FloridaBoyy @FloridaBoyy1022

No more Lebron,Steph,or KD in the rest of the playoffs….The New Kids On The Block are here! #NBAPlayoffs

BK @BrandonKitchin

First time since 2005 that the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs don’t involve LeBron, KD, or Steph.
End of an era.

Razz ⛧ @sznrazzz

LeBron is out of the playoffs

Steph didn’t make the playoffs

Kevin Durant got swept

end of an era

sick public transit, gloria @seungylee14

LeBron, KD and Steph now men of the past…I’ve been waiting for the new era for so long

Wes @wesrogerss

KD got swept, lebron got a gentlemen’s sweep and Steph ain’t even make the playoffs. 2010s era is over 😔

Henoc @acehenoc23

Steph welcoming kd and Lebron to cancun like:

Lame James @LameJames7


DANNY @DS_Blockchain

Lebron, KD and Steph all in Cancun after the first round of playoffs

Really an end of an era

Alex @Brazil201

Laker fans you saw the last game of the Lebron era lakers

That Murray played the role of hero was even more notable because it was unclear if he would even play before the game because of a calf injury. Throw in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope temporarily leaving the game with an ankle injury and Reggie Jackson dealing with an ankle setback of his own, and the Nuggets were not at full strength.

Los Angeles’ stars took advantage in the early going to build a halftime lead with the James-Davis pick-and-roll proving unstoppable, especially when targeting Jokić. Throw in significant turnover issues on Denver’s side, and it seemed like the Lakers were in control.

Even with that impressive start, the Lakers’ fortunes took a turn for the worse when Davis suffered a shoulder injury. While he remained in the game, he struggled to lift it and was clearly in serious pain.

That put more of the onus on James, and the 39-year-old was in full control for extended stretches. He mixed in explosive drives to the lane all while controlling the pace and consistently setting up his teammates for open looks when double teams came his way.

James did everything he could to keep the Lakers within striking distance by bulldozing his way into the paint and carrying the offense when Davis was laboring, but the reigning champions are inevitable.

Whether it was Murray throwing down a monster slam over James, Jokić stuffing the stat sheet or Porter unleashing silky smooth shots, Denver always had an answer.

And Murray’s answer at the end was the loudest.

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