The Denver Nuggets started their title defense with a convincing 119-107 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Ball Arena. On a night when they received extravagant championship rings, the Nuggets earned a 119-107 victory over the Lakers. Denver’s win was powered by Finals MVP Nikola Jokic, who finished with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists — the 106th triple-double of his career. The Nuggets raised their championship banner before the game and then showed why they are the reigning champions with a dominant performance.
Nikola Jokic led the way with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, recording his first triple-double of the season. Jamal Murray added 21 points and six assists, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 20 points against his former team. The Nuggets shot 60.7% from the field and 50% from the three-point line, outscoring the Lakers in every quarter. Read more Basketball action here at 12betinfo!
The Lakers, who were swept by the Nuggets in the Western Conference finals last season, looked rusty and out of sync in their season opener. LeBron James had 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists, but also committed four turnovers. Anthony Davis had 17 points and eight rebounds, but struggled with foul trouble. D’Angelo Russell, who returned to the Lakers in a trade this summer, had 11 points and seven assists, but shot only 16.7% from the field. The Lakers shot 36.7% from the field and 22.2% from the three-point line, and were outrebounded 47-35 by the Nuggets.
The game was close in the first quarter, with the Nuggets leading 28-26. However, the Nuggets pulled away in the second quarter, thanks to a 15-2 run that gave them a 55-38 lead. The Lakers scored the first four points of the fourth quarter, part of a 13-0 run that began at the end of the third, to cut what was once an 18-point deficit down to three at 87-84. They had chances to get closer, but Jokic hit a 3-pointer, fed Caldwell-Pope for an 18-footer and made a jumper to give Denver an 11-point lead with 7:19 left. The Lakers tried to cut the deficit in the third quarter, but the Nuggets responded with a 12-0 run that pushed their lead to 25 points. The Lakers never threatened in the fourth quarter, as the Nuggets cruised to their first win of the season.
The Lakers were led by LeBron James, who scored 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Anthony Davis, who scored 17 points in the first half, was held scoreless in the second half, which proved to be too much for LA to overcome.
The Nuggets will look to continue their winning streak when they host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday, October 26. The Lakers will try to bounce back when they visit the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, October 25.
Read more Basketball action here at 12betinfo!