The battle of the stars promised, and has: Denver took a 0:1 lead in the Western Conference Finals series this morning (Wednesday) after beating the Los Angeles Lakers 126:132 in the first game, after a great offensive display by both teams and their stars, which makes you want to see what’s next.
Denver enjoyed an excellent evening from its outstanding players: Nikola Jokic recorded a tremendous triple double when he finished with 34 points (12 of 17 from the field, 3 of 3 from three), 21 rebounds and 14 assists. Jamal Murray was also excellent as he scored 31 points (12 of 20 from the field, 4 of 8 from three), Contavius Caldwell Pope scored 21, Bruce Brown added 16, and Denver won thanks to an evening of 55 percent from the field and 47 percent from three, In a game in which she dominated rebounding throughout (30:47) and scored 132 points with a fluid attack that the Lakers could not find solutions for.
On the other hand, Anthony Davis scored 40 points for the Lakers in another dominant night (14 of 23 from the field, 11 of 11 from the free throw, 10 rebounds), LeBron James finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists but recorded two fouls in the last minute, And Austin Reeves contributed 23 points and 8 assists, and was the one who helped bring the Lakers back into the game after nearly erasing a double-digit lead in the last quarter.
The Nuggets started stronger, and took a 19:34 lead already in the first quarter. In the third quarter the gap was already 20 points, with the host leading 58:78. Every time the Lakers got a little closer, the Denver players hit a three-pointer and kept the lead.
With 5:11 minutes to go, the Nuggets seemed in control when they took the lead 112:124, but the Lakers began to eat away at the lead, also with the help of a series of fouls and free throws, and two three-pointers by Austin Reaves narrowed it to 127:124 with 2:18 minutes left. But precisely then LeBron was unable to bring his team back into the game. 45 seconds, trailing 129:126, LeBron missed a three-pointer that could tie the game, then lost a ball 18 seconds to the end, and 9 seconds to the end, when the Lakers were already trailing 132:126, he missed a last attempt for a three-pointer, the foul that finally closed the story.