2020 NBA Playoffs Bracket: Lakers vs Nuggets TV Schedule, How to Watch Online

After ending decade-long waits, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets are back in the Western Conference Finals. The 16-time NBA champions made it to seven conference finals between 2000 and 2010 and reached the playoffs for three more seasons after that, before a long winter of six seasons without a postseason berth set in.

Having ended their playoff drought this season by finishing wit the top seed in the Western Conference, the Lakers snapped the longest streak in franchise history without a trip to the Western Conference Finals by defeating the Houston Rockets in five games in the conference semifinals.

After missing the playoffs for the first in 14 seasons during his maiden campaign in L.A., LeBron James now has the chance of reaching a ninth NBA Finals in 10 years.

"It's the reason I wanted to be a part of this franchise, to take them back to a place that they were accustomed to being—and that's competing for a championship," he told the Associated Press after the Lakers clinched the Western Conference Semifinals. "It's an honor for me to wear the purple and gold, and for us, we just try to continue the legacy."

The Nuggets, meanwhile, have ended a long draught of their own.

Denver's last taste of the Western Conference Finals came in 2009 when, incidentally, they lost in six games to the Lakers. The Nuggets' trip to the Western Conference Finals was an anomaly in a decade that delivered 10 consecutive playoff appearances and nine first-round exits and only the bravest of bettors would have backed Denver to reach the Western Conference Finals this season.

The Nuggets have now won their last six elimination games, erasing 3-1 deficits against the Utah Jazz and repeating the feat against the Los Angeles Clippers in the conference semifinals. No other team in NBA history had accomplished the feat before and Denver's comeback is even more remarkable considering they trailed by 16 points at halftime in Game 6 against the Clippers.

After the series decider against the Clippers, Nuggets stars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray said the team's never-say-die attitude stemmed from the desire of wanting to prove critics wrong.

"Nobody wants us here," Jokic, who finished with 16 points, 22 rebounds and 13 assists in Game 7, said.

"Nobody thinks we can do something. We prove ourselves and proved everybody we can do something."

Murray, meanwhile, took a shot at the pundits whom he felt have belittled Denver's chances throughout the playoffs.

"You got [Shaquille O'Neal], you got Charles [Barkley], I think [ESPN writer] Zach Lowe [...] Stephen A. [Smith], all y'all better start giving this team some damn respect," he said.

"Because we put in the work. We shouldn't have been down 3-1, but to come back down 3-1 against the Clippers is a big achievement, so it's fun just to change that narrative."

Here's all you need to know to keep with the action during the Western Conference Finals.

TV coverage and live stream

The series is broadcast exclusively on TNT, with a live stream available on TNT's website as well as on Sling TV, Hulu With Live TV, AT&T TV Now and YouTube TV.

Western Conference Finals schedule (All times ET)

  • Game 1—Friday, September 18, 9 p.m.—TNT
  • Game 2—Sunday, September 20, 7:30 p.m.—TNT
  • Game 3—Tuesday, September 22, 9 p.m.—TNT
  • Game 4—Thursday, September 24, 9 p.m.—TNT
  • Game 5*—Saturday, September 26, 9 p.m.—TNT
  • Game 6*—Monday, September 28, TBD—TNT
  • Game 7*—Wednesday, September 30, TBD—TNT

*If required

Western Conference Finals odds

The bookmakers have the Lakers as the overwhelming favorites to win the Western Conference Finals. The Purple and Gold are 1/5 favorite with DraftKings, while the Nuggets are 4/1 underdogs.

LeBron James, NBA, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts with Anthony Davis #3 during Game Four of the Western Conference Second Round against the Houston Rockets during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 10 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Michael Reaves/Getty