Nuggets vs. Lakers score, takeaway: LeBron James, Anthony Davis dominate paint; La role players step up


The Los Angeles Lakers are preparatory NBA title favorites, which the Clippers eliminated, and they certainly played out like Friday’s 126-114 game, with 1 win over the red-hot Denver Nuggets. Lebron James and Anthony Davis set the tone early, allowing the Lakers to transition out and into the paint to make easy points. Rajon Rondo continued his great run in 21 minutes with seven points and nine assists, while Dwight Howard gave the bench a huge boost with 13 points, three rebounds and two blocks after sitting for most of the Rockets series.

Davis was simply unstoppable, scoring 37 points on 12-for-21 shooting (12-for-15 from the free throw line) while pulling down 10 rebounds in 32 minutes. James executed the offense overnight, finishing with 15 points, 12 assists and six rebels in 30 minutes. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with a loss of 21 points.

After a great first quarter, Denver did not really return to a rhythm due to early fouls for both Jokic and Murray. The Nuggets were outscored 34-21 in the second quarter, and we were never able to launch a return to the second half.

The Lakers would take a 2–0 lead in the series in Game 2 on Sunday. Below are four takeaways from Friday’s game.

1. Lakers dominate paint

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said for Game 1 that the Nuggets would have to limit the Lakers to transition and keep them out of the paint – they did neither. The Lakers ran 54 points in the paint from the opening whistle en route on the Engets, with James and Davis facing very little resistance from Denver’s interior defenses.

It wasn’t just James and Davis, either – Howard got consecutive baskets and foul picks around the rim, and Rondo’s penetration opened up the Lakers role to players. Transition defense was also a problem, with Los Angeles missing or making, usually with positive results. The Lakers came into the game with all postseason teams scoring nearly 50 points in the paint and more than 23 transition points per game, while Denver allowed the fourth-most paint points, so it’s no surprise that What LA is trying to do.

“They are the best running team in the NBA, and that has given us some problems in that Clippers series, so we have to go back and make sure we’re not allowing LeBron to coast and find our shooters , “Malone said on Thursday. “The other thing is defending the paint.”

Easier said, but Denver would really have to turn the Lakers in, if they were going to put a shot in this series.

2. Role of Players on Role

Anthony Davis was the chief. Lebron James was a genius. The Nuggets can live with the same, but they will get in trouble if the Lakers get their supporting cast, as they did on Friday. Kentavius ​​Caldwell-Pope had 18 points, Howard had 13, Kyle Kuzma had 11, Markieff Morris had nine and Danny Green had eight. Part of the antidote is limiting the transition and penetration of the Lakers, as noted above, with some easy layouts and wide-open looks for role players throughout the game. Denver didn’t make a great defense in Game 1, but if the Lakers haven’t named Anthony Davis or LeBron James, it’s a good series.

3. Silver Linings for Denver

The final score was not pretty, but there are some positives that could take away from the Denver Game 1 loss. He fared very well in the first quarter before foul trouble raising his ugly head. The Nuggets scored 38 points in their two-man game with Jokic and Murray in the first quarter. Monte Morris provided some really good minutes during the second quarter, and Mason Plumley played well in extended time off the Nuggets’ bench. Denver was also blown away in Game 1 of the Clippers series, so you better believe there is no one to count them after performing on this sub.

4. Crying Foul

Certainly some Denver fans are plotting right now, and it was definitely disappointing to see one of the breakout players demoted for a good part of the first half with needless trouble. You all know my thoughts on how dishonesty should be eliminated (or at the very least increase the limit from six to 10), but since this is not happening any time soon, Jokic really needs to tick- One needs to be careful about not taking tack falls. . He got a few whistles battling for a down position and more on the offensive dishonesty to a couple, which just can’t happen. By now Jock clearly understands how essential he is to the success of any of the Nuggets, so he will need to take no precautions in moving forward.