The upstart Denver Nuggets are done for the season, after they fell in defeat in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. It was the third 3-1 series deficit the Nuggets had faced in these playoffs alone, but there would be no stunning three-game comeback this time, as LeBron James dominated last night's action throughout, producing a masterful 38-point, 16-rebound, 10-assist triple-double that powered his Lakers through to the Finals.
It makes for a handy point of comparison when one team faces two of the NBA's biggest stars in consecutive rounds of a single playoff run. To wit: The Nuggets faced the Los Angeles Clippers, and their star forward Kawhi Leonard, in a seven-game series just prior to meeting the Lakers in the conference finals. After taking a 3-1 series lead over the Nuggets, the Clippers lost three straight elimination games and were eliminated. Please consult the following infographic that compares how Leonard and James stacked up in, oh, a random selection of their respective opportunities to eliminate the Nuggets and advance to the next round of the postseason.
As you can see, you do, in fact, gotta hand it to LeBron James.