Despite a thunderous end to the game, the Los Angeles Lakers did not create a surprise on the Denver Nuggets floor at the opening of the Western Conference finals (132-126).
The Nuggets were able to hold the shock! At the end of a meeting that they mastered for a very long time, the players of the Colorado franchise delighted their supporters with a success against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first game of the Western Conference finals. It must be said that the Californians were able to lead to the score only the space of 26 seconds on the floor of the Ball Arena. After the opener signed LeBron James (26 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists), it was the Nuggets who took control of operations and quickly exceeded the ten-point lead. Carried by a huge Nikola Jokic (34 points, 21 rebounds, 14 assists), the Denver franchise reached the end of the first quarter with a margin of twelve units. Not wanting to be out of reach of their opponents too soon, the Angelinos raised their voices at the start of the second quarter and relied in particular on an Anthony Davis at the rendezvous (40 points, 10 rebounds) to come back to nine points… before taking on a new shine. Indeed, the Nuggets reached the break no less than 18 units ahead of the Lakers.
WAY TO BATTLE ⚒️#BringItIn pic.twitter.com/epwVxqLN7l
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) May 17, 2023
The Nuggets did not crack against the Lakers
As soon as play resumed, the difference between the two formations oscillated between 16 and 20 lengths. But, with three minutes left in this third quarter, the Californians have raised their level of play. Many free throws, especially for Austin Reaves (23 points, 8 assists), brought the Lakers closer to eleven points but Nikola Jokic went there with his three-point shot at the buzzer to give the Nuggets a little more air before the “money time”. A last quarter that first saw the Colorado franchise hold on and stay above the ten-point lead. However, five minutes from the end of the game, the Lakers put all their forces into battle. The result was a 9-0 signed by the Davis-James-Reaves trio to bring the California franchise down to just three points. The tension rose a notch on the floor but it was the Nuggets who, in the game of free throws in the last seconds, validated their success at home (132-126). A first game that bodes well for an intense series to reach the NBA Finals.
BASKET – NBA / PLAY-OFFS
Western Conference Finals
DENVER NUGGETS (1) – LOS ANGELES LAKERS (7) : 1-0
Match 1 – Denver – LA Lakers : 132-126
Match 2 : May 18 in Denver
Match 3 : May 20 in Los Angeles
Match 4 : May 22 in Los Angeles
Match 5 (if necessary): May 24 in Denver
Match 6 (if needed): May 26 in Los Angeles
Match 7 (if needed): May 28 in Denver