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Nuggets Beat Lakers 114-103 In Opening Round Of Western Conference Playoffs

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Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic (L) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Lakers Rui Hachimura during the second quarter in game one of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado, U.S., April 20, 2024. (Reuters Photo)

(CTN News) – The Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 114-103 in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs thanks to 32 points and 12 rebounds from Nikola Jokic.

Anthony Davis led the way with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Jamal Murray recorded a double-double with 22 points and 10 assists.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for 27 points and 32 rebounds, but the Lakers were defeated by the Nuggets for the ninth consecutive time.

With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scoring 12 points in the third quarter, the Nuggets clinched victory with a 13-0 run.

Despite Porter’s younger brother, Coban Porter, being jailed for a fatal drunken driving crash on Friday, and former Toronto Raptors guard Jontay Porter being banned from the NBA for betting on basketball and disclosing confidential information, Porter performed well on the court, as Malone had predicted.

Malone said Porter Jr. is dealing with a lot off the court. As a result, he can now do what he loves, as well as what he does extremely well, which he also enjoys.”

57 regular-season wins tied a franchise record, four more than last year, and the Nuggets were confident they would repeat in the playoffs. A sign of their looseness was Jokic’s appearance at Ball Arena in a black and gray stripe scarf and gray pants, looking like Felonius Gru, the main character in “Despicable Me 4,” who seeks therapy because the Minions believe he is their boss.

The Lakers’ pregame introductions were drowned out by the sold-out crowd if James had shown up dressed like Vector. A 32-foot 3-pointer by James ended a great first half during which he scored 19 points.

In the fourth quarter, Denver’s 13-0 run threatened to turn the game into a laugher. A three-point play from Davis, two free throws by James, and a basket by Taurean Prince cut the Lakers’ deficit to 96-88 with 7:17 remaining.

After James committed a turnover, Porter hit a 3-pointer and Jokic sank a rebound to come close to catching the Nuggets. The lead is now 12 points in favor of Denver. This is the first time since the Golden State Warriors six years ago that the Nuggets have sought to successfully defend their NBA title.

As the Nuggets neared their first NBA championship, they swept the Lakers in last season’s Western Conference finals.

There hasn’t been a Lakers win over a Nuggets team since Dec. 16, 2022. The teams will try again Monday night at Ball Arena, where Denver has a 34-8 record.

Only 18 of James’ 80 first-round games have ended in loss. For the third time in six seasons with the Lakers, he lost a playoff opener. He also lost series openers in Round 1 in 2018 (Indiana over Cleveland), 2020 (Portland over the Lakers), and 2021 (Phoenix over the Lakers).


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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