Friday, September 18, 2020
Tonight marks the first game between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers in their best-of-seven playoff series. The last time that these two franchises met up in the postseason was during the 2012 Playoffs as the Ty Lawson-led Nuggets lost to the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers in the first round, 4-3. During this season, the Nuggets only defeated the Lakers once in their four matchups.
-Keita Bates-Diop (coach’s decision)
-Vlatko Cancar (foot)
-Will Barton (knee)
Los Angeles Lakers:
-Dion Waiters (groin)
The game would be held close in the first half as the Denver Nuggets shot 50% from the field while the Los Angeles Lakers shot 51%. Jamal Murray scored 15 points which included a three-pointer in the first period. Nikola Jokic had 11 points to go along with five rebounds, two assists, and one block.
Oregon-native Jerami Grant had seven points which included a three-pointer in the first quarter. Paul Millsap helped out with five points while grabbing four defensive rebounds and committing a steal. Gary Harris was kept to just a three-pointer. Michael Porter Jr. played 12 minutes off of the bench but only had two points.
As for the Lakers, Anthony Davis chalked up 17 points while recording five rebounds and two assists. Three-time NBA champion LeBron James had 15 points to go along with four rebounds and five assists. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Danny Green combined for 14 points while JaVale McGee was kept scoreless. Alex Caruso played the most minutes off of the bench but only had five points as the Lakers went into halftime with a 70-59 lead.
The California team would continue to show dominance in the second half as they shot 55% from the field, keeping the Nuggets at 48%. Davis stayed hot as he dropped 20 more points which contained a three-pointer in the third quarter. Caldwell-Pope helped out with nine points while blocking a shot. Danny Green had a three-pointer while both James and McGee were held scoreless. Rajon Rondo played 11 minutes off of the bench as he had seven points.
On the other end of the floor, Jokic put up 10 points while Murray and Grant combined for eight points. Porter Jr. played the most minutes off of the bench as he scored 12 points but it wasn’t enough as the Lakers escaped with a 126-114 victory, taking a 1-0 lead in the series. Anthony Davis finished the game with 37 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists. Jamal Murray finished with 21 points, one rebound, and 5 assists.
The Denver Nuggets would look to tie the series up at 1-1 as they battle the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.