Lakers blow out Nuggets in Game 1: here’s what went down

Lakers blow out Nuggets in Game 1: here's what went down

The Los Angeles Lakers had a great second-half run after beating the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 with a 126-114 victory.

The double-double performances of LeBron James and Anthony Davis led the Lakers squad to victory as well as the extra effort from their supporting cast. The King scored 15 points and 12 assists while AD dominated in the paint scoring 37 points and 10 rebounds.

In the first quarter, both squads were lights out with Jamal Murray attempting to stir momentum for the Nuggets shooting a buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter giving them a 38-36 lead.

However, in the next two quarters, the Lakers quickly erased the Nuggets’ hopes of catching up. Despite the effort from the Nuggets’ second unit to try and survive the L.A. onslaught, Rondo’s second unit was able to dominate.

The Nuggets third scoring option Michael Porter Jr. also struggled to convert shots, hitting only 4 out of his 15 shots even though he hit 7 out of 8 from the free-throw line.

It even went to the point where they subbed in Quinn Cook, J.R. Smith, and Jared Dudley during the last minutes of the fourth quarter. J.R. Smith also surprisingly passed the Black Mamba for most 3-pointers in playoff history.

Early fouls and other problems for Jokic and Murray

In the second and third quarters, Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic struggled in trying to avoid fouls to the point that he got frustrated.

The early foul troubles also plagued head coach Mike Malone as he tried to make the necessary adjustments during the game. Additionally, the Lakers were also given a lot of trips to the free-throw line scoring 27 of their 37 attempts.

At the end of the game, the Joker ended up with five fouls trying to avoid fouling out. Jamal Murray also had his share of frustration fouls as the Lakers veterans were playing mind games on them as well. The duo ended up scoring 21 points each.

What’s also interesting in Game 1 was that the Lakers were able to limit the Joker’s play-making numbers as he only had 2 assists.

Rondo and Howard gave a lot of impact off the bench

The Lakers’ second unit shined in Game 1, with Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard having efficient minutes on the floor.

Dwight Howard was an absolute bully as he was able to put Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Paul Millsap in early foul trouble. He also cut back door for alley-oops, drove hard to the baskets, made two blocks and steals on defense, and drew four fouls in his first seven minutes.

As for Rajon Rondo, he showcased his excellent floor general skills as he was able to produce 9 assists during his playtime while recently passing Michael Jordan for 10th on the NBA’s all-time playoff assists list.

If the Denver Nuggets don’t find a solution in LeBron and AD and the Lakers supporting cast continue this level of play, then we might see an early exit happening anytime soon.

Featured image courtesy of Chris Smoove/YouTube Thumbnail

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