Nikola Jokić arrives dressed as ‘Despicable Me’ character and inspires Denver Nuggets to playoff win over Los Angeles Lakers

Nikola Jokić came dressed to steal the moon on Saturday, and helped the Denver Nuggets steal a march on the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of their first-round NBA playoff series.

The Serbian superstar arrived at the Ball Arena dressed as Gru, the lead character from “Despicable Me,” in an apparent nod to his appearance in a teaser for the franchise’s fourth movie in which he seeks therapy for his outfits being compared on social media to those worn by Gru and jokes that the Minions think he is their boss.

On the court, meanwhile, Jokić posted a near triple-double with 32 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists to inspire the Nuggets to a 114-103 win over the Lakers and take a 1-0 lead in the playoff series.

They overcame a slow start, trailing by as many as 10 points midway through the second quarter, while Lakers star LeBron James scored 19 first-half points to put his team ahead.

But the Nuggets rallied towards the end of the second quarter and went on a 13-point run in the third to stamp their authority on the game, before holding on in the fourth.

“We’re not going anywhere. This is the playoffs,” Denver coach Michael Malone told reporters afterwards. “No team in the playoffs, if you get down 12 early, you’re not going to just take your ball and go home. We still have plenty of fight left in us and we know that we were better than what we were playing early.”

Anthony Davis led the way for the Lakers with 32 points, 14 rebounds and five assists while James finished with 27 points. Jamal Murray added 22 points, six rebounds and 10 assists for the Nuggets.

Elsewhere in the Western Conference on Saturday, the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Phoenix Suns 120-95 in Game 1 of their playoff series.

Meanwhile in the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers downed the Orlando Magic 97-83 and the New York Knicks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 111-104.

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