LeBron and AD React to Narrow Game 1 Loss to Denver

Game 1

Denver finished with a 132-126 Game 1 win over the Lakers in front of their home crowd, retaining their now 7-0 playoffs win streak at Ball Arena.

LA trailed by 21 points in the second half, before cutting the lead to just three points late in the fourth but couldn’t come up clutch in the dying seconds.

“We gotta understand that we gotta start from the tipoff,” LeBron said postgame. “They punched us in the mouth to start. They had more offensive rebounds than we had total rebounds in the first half. ..They killed us in the fast break in the first half, it was ten for ten from the free throw line. I know the game is won in 48 minutes but they set the tone in the first 24 minutes and we was playing catch up for the next 24.

“In the postseason, it doesn’t matter if you cut it to one or you’re down 20,” LeBron continued. “You lose, you lose. They’re 1-0 and we have to come back with desperation going on into Game 2. We have to play better, we have to rebound better. I thought we did a good job of not turning the ball over and that’s one thing we’ve been very conscious about in the postseason but we’ve been better in transition, tonight we wasn’t that great.”

Anthony Davis finished the night with a massive 40 points, ten rebounds and three assists, while LeBron had 26 points and nine assists.

But Austin Reaves led the Lakers’ comeback. He came up with plenty of big plays and recorded 23 points (11 of those in the fourth) to go with eight assists.

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One of the real shining lights for LA was Rui Hachimura, who switched onto guarding Nikola Jokic in the fourth and Davis was asked postgame if they would use that matchup again in the series as it seemed to work.

“We did end up liking it,” Davis said. “Staying with it for a while, maybe something we go to Game 2. But just thinking about it right now, it’s something that we like to also have – me roaming. It was a good adjustment but…we’ll figure out ways to be better.”

Game 2 of the Lakers-Nuggets series will take place on Thursday, May 18 at 5:30PM PDT at Ball Arena.

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