Dion Waiters becomes first former Syracuse basketball player in NBA Finals in 40 years

Dion Waiters has become the first former Syracuse basketball player to reach the NBA Finals in 40 years.

Waiters’ Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets, 117-107, to win the Western Conference Finals, 4-1, on Saturday night. Another SU alum, Jerami Grant, logged a game-high 46 minutes and scored 20 points for the Nuggets but it wasn’t enough to stop LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who combined for 65.

Waiters will be the first former Syracuse University basketball player to appear in the NBA Finals since Marty Byrnes in 1980 — also for the Lakers. Byrnes was scoreless in his Game 6 appearance, but his L.A. team beat the Philadelphia 76ers to win the championship.