2023 NBA Western Conference Finals Preview: Schedule, TV channel, start times

2023 NBA Western Conference Finals: Schedule, TV channel, more originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Nikola Jokic is one step closer to securing that elusive NBA championship.

What stood in his way? The Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James, a man all-too-familiar with the postseason glory.

The two sides settled it in the 2023 Western Conference Finals, but Jokic and Co. got the better of the Southern California squad with a 4-0 clean sweep.

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Here’s what to know about the series.

Who is playing in the 2023 Western Conference Finals?

The top-seeded Nuggets are returning to the Western Conference Finals for the second time in four years. They’ll be hoping for a better outcome than the 4-1 loss to the Lakers they suffered in the NBA bubble.

Denver has never won an NBA Championship and only made the finals once in 1976, the year before the NBA/ABA merger.

The Nuggets would need to end that against the Lakers again this time around, who eliminated the defending champion Golden State Warriors in six games to reach this point. Los Angeles secured the No. 7 seed via the play-in tournament and upset the No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, while Denver beat No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves in the first and No. 4 Phoenix Suns in the second.

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When does the 2023 Western Conference Finals begin?

The Western Conference Finals will begin on Tuesday, May 16. The latest the series could end if it goes to seven games is Sunday, May 28.

How to watch the 2023 Western Conference Finals

All games will be aired on ESPN, except for Game 3, which will be available on ABC. The action can be streamed on WatchESPN and the ESPN mobile app.

When are the 2023 Western Conference Finals?

Here is how the Western Conference Finals played out:

  • Game 1: Nuggets 132, Lakers 126 (DEN leads 1-0)

  • Game 2: Nuggets 108, Lakers 103 (DEN leads 2-0)

  • Game 3: Nuggets 119, Lakers 108 (DEN leads 3-0)

  • Game 4: Nuggets 113, Lakers 111 (DEN wins 4-0)

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Who is favored to win the Lakers vs. Nuggets Western Conference Finals?

This series looks like a toss-up, according to the sportsbooks. The top-seeded Nuggets are slightly favored against the Lakers, but Los Angeles has earned respect after getting here from the play-in tournament.

Here's the full future odds to win the series, courtesy of our partner, PointsBet:

  • Denver Nuggets, -160

  • Los Angeles Lakers, +130

Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.