Heaven Is Beating the Los Angeles Lakers at the Buzzer

Sports Denver Nuggets
Heaven Is Beating the Los Angeles Lakers at the Buzzer

Fuck it, it’s a Denver Nuggets long weekend here at Splinter. We’re celebrating. Your resident Jew spent the first night of Passover at Ball Arena booing a King and watching Maple Jordan rip the Los Angeles Lakers’s hearts out and show it to them.



I know I abused my Colorado resident privileges in bringing you back-to-back Remembering a Plays from Colorado sports (only one of them I enjoy remembering though!), and I will adhere to my promise of imposing a moratorium on Remembering Colorado Plays for some time.

This is not remembering a play. This is me ascending to a higher plane of existence. Murray’s game-winner falling and the subsequent crowd delirium was an all-timer of a sports experience. I hugged so many strangers last night. The afterglow from this game is one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever felt in 37 years of being a sports fan.

I wrote in Friday’s Remembering a Play that I would spend the day of game one basking in the Laker hatred emanating from my soul, and last night at my first ever Nuggets vs. Lakers playoff game (and first time seeing playoff LeBron), my soul turned into a nuclear reactor of hate. Jamal Murray sent it into a full-fledged meltdown.

Watching your team beat the team that has owned you your entire life is one thing, but coming back from being down 20 points in the second half to beat them at the buzzer? I’m so deliriously happy I would genuinely drink LeBron and Anthony Davis’s tears right now.

Speaking of Anthony Davis and Lebron’s tears! The man who buried the Nuggets with a buzzer beater in Game 2 of the 2020 Western Conference Finals, who literally could not miss in the first half last night, ended his extremely short press conference with five words that will live in Denver infamy, and then stormed off.


And! And! LeBron absolutely torched the NBA replay offices in response to a completely unrelated question after the game too.

I’m just so, so happy right now.



The entire first half I could feel my insides disintegrating as I watched the Nuggets play basketball and LeBron force-feed two teammates in NBA Jam on-fire mode in Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell, and the Nuggets were down 15 at half almost entirely due to three players on the Lakers.

Once Anthony Davis regressed back into being just a normal generational superstar who doesn’t hit every shot he takes, the game took a turn. When all-time great glue guy Kentavious Caldwell-Pope put Taurean Prince on a poster to cut the lead to 11 late in the third quarter, the entire mood of the stadium shifted, and you could feel the crowd willing the Nuggets to cut the lead to single digits. We have seen this group of cold-blooded assassins do this before and we knew it was on the table yet again.

Future three-time MVP and official Splinter sports athlete Nikola Jokic, who dropped a casual 27/20/10 on 56% shooting, started going at Davis and when he drew AD’s fourth foul, you could feel the game itself shift. Davis left the floor for a bit and the death, taxes and crunch time Nuggets took over. When AD checked back in, it was too late, the snowball had begun its inevitable journey downhill. LeBron missed a wide-open shot to go up three (I wonder if he blames the league for that too!), then Jamal Murray showed him how it’s done, and nearly four years later, the Nuggets returned that helpless feeling the Lakers gave them that one shot may have just decided the series.

I left the arena with 18,000 of my closest friends chanting who’s your daddy at everyone wearing the wrong shade of yellow, and let my glowing Laker hatred warm my soul on a chilly walk back to my car. It was everything you could ever want from a sporting event.

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