The Los Angeles Lakers are one win away from reaching the 2020 NBA Finals. One major reason why was because of their prolific offensive rebounding in the Orlando bubble on Thursday.
The Lakers had 12 offensive rebounds in their 114-108 win over the Denver Nuggets in game four of the Western Conference Finals. Dwight Howard of Atlanta, GA led the Lakers with six offensive rebounds and 11 rebounds overall. Rajon Rondo of Louisville, KY, continued his marvelous postseason with two offensive rebounds off the bench, while starters Anthony Davis of Chicago, IL, LeBron James of Akron, OH, Danny Green of North Babylon, NY, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of Thomaston, GA, each had one offensive rebound.
With just under four minutes left, and the Lakers leading the Nuggets 103-99, Jamal Murray of the Nuggets came through with a block on a 15-foot jumper by Rondo. However, the Lakers recorded a key offensive team rebound to protect the four-point lead. Then with just over two minutes left, and the Lakers leading 107-102, it was Davis who had an offensive rebound on a Caldwell-Pope shot attempt to protect the Lakers five-point lead. The Lakers’ final offensive rebound of the night came with just over a minute left when Caldwell-Pope maintained Lakers possession of the basketball after a James missed shot.
Whenever the Lakers got the offensive rebound on Thursday, they were able to maintain the important factor of momentum. It seemed the Nuggets were working so hard on making sure the Lakers had difficult shot attempts, that they were neglecting some of their defensive responsibilities as a team near the basket itself.
The Lakers have 147 offensive rebounds in 14 playoff games so far. Davis leads the team with 35 offensive rebounds. Game five is Saturday night with the Lakers leading three games to one. In the Eastern Final, the Boston Celtics prevented elimination on Friday with a 121-108 win over the Miami Heat. The Heat still lead that series three games to two.