Jokic, Nuggets take 1-0 lead over Lakers

By Eurohoops Team/ [email protected]

Nikola Jokic scored 32 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Denver Nuggets past the Los Angeles Lakers 114 – 103 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

Jokic, who shot 15 – 23 from the field, and his teammates saw the Lakers gain a 12-point lead (49 – 37) midway through the second period before closing in on 60 – 57 at halftime. The Nuggets completely turned the game around after halftime to go up 89-75 late in the third quarter.

The Lakers tried to come back, but Denver held on to win in its quest to defend the title.

“We’re not going anywhere,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “These are the play-offs. No team in the play-offs, if you’re 12 early, you’re not just going to take your ball and go home. We still have plenty of fight left in us and we know we were better than what we played at the beginning.”

Anthony Davis scored 32 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for the Lakers. LeBron James scored 19 of his 27 points in the first half and also finished with eight assists and six rebounds.

Jamal Murray contributed 22 points, 10 assists and six rebounds in the Nuggets’ win. His team finished the game with just four turnovers to the Lakers’ 12, while getting nine offensive rebounds (15 to 9).

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