Watch Jamal Murray hit another game-winner, send Lakers home for summer with Nuggets win

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Game Five
Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Game Five

In the biggest moment of the season — tied 106-106 with 26.3 seconds in a closeout Game 5 against the Lakers — Michael Malone trusted his players. He didn't call a timeout.

"Let the best two-man game in the game go to work and get into their spots," the Nuggets coach said of his decision. The result was another Jamal Murray game-winner.

Denver wins 108-106 and takes the series 4-1. The Nuggets advance to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round starting Saturday in Denver, a series that may be the best of the next round regardless of conference.

Minnesota will be hard-pressed to put up more of a challenge for Denver than the Lakers did.

Los Angeles had its best game of the series Monday night, playing with the desperation of a team not ready for its season to end. LeBron James was aggressive, attacking downhill, and finished with 30 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds. The Lakers' defense was physical and Anthony Davis and company stood up to Nikola Jokic as well as anyone can.

Jokic still finished with 25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists. Murray finished the night with 32 despite being a game-time decision because of a calf injury (Murray had it wrapped all night). He also hit his second game-winner of the series, having done the same thing in Game 2. Michael Porter Jr. added 26 points including five 3-pointers.

The Lakers head into an offseason where coach Darvin Ham's job is in jeopardy, LeBron James has a player option and can become a free agent (even if most people expect him to remain a Laker) and there are rumors they could go big game hunting trying to land someone like Trae Young or Dejounte Murray out of Atlanta. The Lakers played well in this series against the defending champions, how much that impacts decisions this summer remains to be seen.