Via the Los Angeles Times:
LeBron James would yawn, often, when the cameras were, and weren’t, aimed at him. From early in the season, when the Lakers were still trying to tackle to unsolvable problems of last year, until deep into this playoff push, it never was much of a secret.
He was tired.
This was the best argument among plenty of credible ones why Monday evening would be it, the end to Year 20, the conclusion to a season in which he made history and improbably got his team to the conference finals.
The year was so long, so mentally exhausting, so physically demanding, that the Lakers and James wouldn’t be able to fight to extend it any longer.
Yet Monday night, James gave everything, all of the energy that was left in his 38-year-old body. He got his team close. He couldn’t get them any further than that.
Nikola Jokic hit the game’s biggest shot while two chances for James couldn’t get converted pushed Denver to the NBA Finals after a 113-111 win to sweep the Lakers.