The Denver Nuggets completed a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA Western Conference Finals on Monday.

Nikola Jokic tallied a triple-double to lead the Nuggets to the first NBA Finals in franchise history with a 113-111 final. But the Nuggets responded to James' best shot in the third quarter, erasing the Lakers' lead with a 34-14 run as Jokic pushed the pace at every opportunity.


Jokic and the Nuggets should be the focus after their brilliant play in this series. But there are nine days until Game 1 of the NBA Finals with a giant question now looming after LeBron James' parting statements about returning next season.

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After he scored what proved to be the winning basket, Jokic went into a nondescript tunnel, sat down on a bench in the makeshift weight room that had been set up for the visiting team and went through a punishing lower body workout.

Jokic has lifted weights after every game he was able to for the past four seasons, knowing that the only way he'd earn true respect in this league is if he was the last man standing at the end of the season.

This is how it is for every all-time great. He has won two MVP awards. Monday night, he won the Magic Johnson Western Conference finals MVP award after his NBA playoff-record eighth triple-double of the postseason with 30 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists in 45 minutes. But individual awards start to wear heavy on one's head after a while.

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