Denver, the defending NBA champions, defeat LeBron’s Lakers 114-103 in playoff opener | Basketball News


In a rematch of last season’s Western Conference final, the Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of their NBA playoffs first-round series. Led by Nikola Jokic’s 32 points, the defending champions outplayed LeBron James and the Lakers to secure a 114-103 victory. The Nuggets, who swept the Lakers in the playoffs last season, continued their dominance over Los Angeles with a strong performance.
Jokic’s 12 rebounds and seven assists, along with Jamal Murray’s 22 points and 10 assists, helped the Nuggets take control of the game in the third quarter. Despite a late push from the Lakers, the Nuggets held on for the win. James scored 32 points and Davis added 27 for the Lakers, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Denver’s strong play.
Jokic credited the team’s change in mindset and improved defense for their success in the third quarter. Lakers coach Darvin Ham acknowledged Denver’s advantage in offensive rebounding, which played a crucial role in the outcome of the game. He expects the series to be a tough battle as it continues.
The game was part of the first day of the NBA playoffs, which also saw wins for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the New York Knicks, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The series between the Nuggets and Lakers resumes on Monday.


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