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Lakers vs. Nuggets: 2024 NBA Playoffs: Defending Champion Denver Nuggets Take Game 1, Lebron and Davis Shine Despite Losing to LA Lakers | NBA News

The Denver Nuggets, despite a slow start, began their NBA title defense with a convincing 114-103 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in their Western Conference playoff opener. This victory marked their ninth consecutive victory over their rivals.

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Lebron James & Aaron Gordon during Game 1

The Denver Nuggetsdespite a slow start, their N.B.A title defense with a convincing 114-103 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in their Western Conference playoff opener. This victory marked their ninth consecutive victory over their rivals. Le Bron James, hungry for another championship run, put on a show in the first half, dropping 19 points, highlighted by a buzzer-beating three-pointer. This gave the Lakers a narrow 60-57 lead at halftime.

The second half, however, was a different story. The Nuggets held their ground defensively, limiting James to just nine points in the entire half and completely shutting him out of scoring opportunities in the final quarter. Nikola Jokic, the reigning MVP, led the charge with a dominant 32-point, 12-rebound performance. He wasn’t the only one, like Jamal Murray (22 points, 10 assists) and Anthony Gordon (12 points, 11 rebounds) also scored double-doubles, while Michael Porter Jr. came in with 19 points and eight rebounds.

Denver’s dominance extended beyond scoring. They dominated the boards and grabbed 15 offensive rebounds compared to the Lakers’ paltry six, resulting in 18 valuable second-chance points. Furthermore, the Nuggets showed exceptional ball control, committing just four turnovers during the game, while the Lakers coughed up a dozen times, with James himself responsible for a whopping seven.