Lakers do what Clippers couldn't, hold onto big lead for Game 1 win

Jack Baer
·2 min read

Breaking news: It is apparently possible to maintain a double-digit lead over the Denver Nuggets until the end of a game.

That’s what the Los Angeles Lakers did for the entire second half of Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, winning 126-114.

The Lakers took control in the second quarter after a close first, opening up an 11-point lead going into halftime. The star of the quarter for the Lakers might have been official Scott Foster, as the team shot a whopping 25 free throws in 12 minutes.

Unlike a certain other Los Angeles team, the Lakers remained locked in and hold off the inevitable Nuggets surge. The closest the Nuggets came to evening the score was when they cut the lead to nine points midway through the third quarter. The Lakers responded with a 10-2 win.

Like he’s done in a few games this postseason, LeBron James left much of the scoring load to Anthony Davis. The Lakers big man finished with 37 points on 12-of-21 shooting with 10 rebounds and four assists, while James posted 15 points and 12 assists.

Dwight Howard had quite a game as well, scoring 13 points while missing just one shot and contributing to a strong defensive effort against Nuggets star Nikola Jokic. Jokic finished with only 21 points, six rebounds and two assists, well below what we regularly saw last series.

Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic (15) defends as Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) looks for a shot opportunity during the second half an NBA conference final playoff basketball game, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
It was all Lakers after the first quarter. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

One moment of worry for the Lakers came in the second quarter when James appeared to turn his ankle on a drive. The very next play, this happened:

As one-sided as Game 1 was, it’s hard to imagine the Nuggets will be panicking much. The team looked even worse in Game 1 against the Los Angeles Clippers, and we all know how that ended. However, the Lakers are a different team, and you have to wonder how long a battle plan built basically on nonstop adrenaline can work out.

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