The pivot Anthony Davis debuted in the Western Conference finals as leader of the Los Angeles Lakers to those who contributed a double-double of 37 points and 10 rebounds that helped him easily beat the Denver Nuggets 126-114 in the first game of the best-of-seven series.
The star forward Lebron James, which hours before the game received the bad news of having once again lost the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, which went to Greek power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, of the Milwaukee Bucks, for the second consecutive season, he vindicated himself with another double-double of 15 points and 12 assists.
The Lakers, who had started with losses in the two previous qualifiers, against the Portland Trail Blazers and the Huston Rockets, this time they came out overwhelming and from the first second they established the rhythm of the game and also control on the scoreboard.
The superiority of the Lakers was evident in the partial they had at halftime which was 70-59, which increased at the end of the third period to the quarter of 103-79 and everything decided, leaving the last 12 minutes for training and that you reserve them the Los Angeles team had seen minutes of action.
The difference in the score and the superiority shown by the Lakers left the first game of the series, which already lacks interest among fans, was something soporific and very “frustrating” for NBA interests.
Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 18 points and veteran backup center Dwight Howard rejoined the rotation with 13 points in a powerful return to the conference finals with the Lakers, who they hadn’t been in the last four NBA teams since they won their last championship in 2010.
Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo had nine assists that allowed him to reach 1,025 in the playoffs, beating Michael Jordan (1,022) for 10th place on the NBA’s all-time list.
Serbian center Nikola Jokic and Canadian point guard Jamal Murray each scored 21 points as leaders of the Nuggets, who played their first Western Conference finals for the first time since the Lakers defeated them in 2009.
Denver overcame handicaps 1-3 against the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers, becoming the first team to do so twice in a postseason.
The Nuggets fell behind immediately, digging a huge hole when Jokic and Murray committed three personal fouls each in the first half that deepened in the second.
Davis scored 14 points in the first quarter, but the Nuggets shot nearly 64 percent, on Murray’s 3-pointer when time ended, giving them a 38-36 lead.
Reserve point guard Alex Caruso converted a three-point play to open the second quarter and start the Lakers’ 17-1 streak and make it 53-39 before the Nuggets made their first basket after more than five minutes. .
The advantage remained for the rest of the first half after watching the Lakers go to the personnel line and Jokic, Murray and veteran power forward Paul Millsap to the bench with three fouls each.
An 11-2 streak in the third period established the partial score of 92-71 that left the Lakers with a clear path to ensure the victory and 1-0 in the tie.
He second game of the series will be played next Sunday in the same scene of the Orlando bubble.