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HomeSportsDenver defeats LeBron's Lakers 114-103 in playoff opener

Denver defeats LeBron’s Lakers 114-103 in playoff opener

  • Nuggets defeat Lakers 114-103; Jokic pivotal in comeback
  • Denver maintains dominance over star-studded Lakers crowd
  • Porter Jr. scores 19 points; Lakers led by Davis and James

In the first game of their first-round NBA postseason series, the defending champions, Denver Nuggets, overcame a slow start and defeated LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers 114-103. Nikola Jokic contributed to the comeback.

On their path to their first Western Conference championship last season, the Nuggets swept the Lakers in four games in the finals. On Saturday, they maintained their dominance over the star-studded Los Angeles crowd.

Michael Porter Jr. scored 19 points, while Jokic contributed 12 rebounds and seven assists. Jamal Murray added 22 points and 10 assists, and Porter Jr. contributed 19 points for the Nuggets, who took control of the third quarter with a 13-0 scoring surge during which they limited the Lakers to 18 points.

The Lakers, led by Anthony Davis with 27 points and James with 32 points and 14 rebounds, narrowed a 15-point deficit to six in the fourth quarter before the Nuggets retook the lead.

The only three-pointer made by Jokic in the contest extended the Nuggets’ lead to 103-93. James, who fell heavily with one minute remaining but remained in the game until the very end, was defeated by his dunk.

“A shift in mindset was necessary,” Jokic said regarding the Nuggets’ surge in the third quarter. “I thought the defence in the second half was phenomenal.”

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In accumulating 18 second-chance points, the Nuggets’ 15-6 advantage in offensive rebounding was crucial, according to Lakers head coach Darvin Ham.

“You cannot give them multiple possessions,” Ham said, adding that he remains optimistic that the upcoming best-of-seven series on Monday will be a “tough battle.”

The inaugural day of the playoffs concluded with the Minnesota Timberwolves triumphing over the Phoenix Suns 120-95, the New York Knicks 111-104 over the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Cleveland Cavaliers 97-83 over the Orlando Magic.

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