Game One Recap: Lakers dominate Nuggets in Western Conference Finals opener

December 22, 2019; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) controls the ball against Denver Nuggets forward Mason Plumlee (24) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers finally bucked the trend of slow openers with a dominant win over the Denver Nuggets, 126-114. The Lakers had it all working tonight, first from long-range shooting at 42.3 percent. They also moved the ball well edging out the Nuggets in assists at 33-23. LeBron James finished the night with 15 points and 12 assists.

Second Quarter Distance

The Lakers have been good for one quarter of spark on both ends these playoffs. Tonight featured one of those quarters. The Nuggets stars Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic missed much of the period due to foul trouble and the Lakers outscored them 32-21. Markieff Morris was huge with two three-pointers pushing him up to 59 percent shooting from three in the playoffs after hitting three tonight. Dwight Howard also made his presence known with two steals and two blocks plus eight trips to the free-throw line. Much of this was due to his constant activity.

Dwight Howard Is A New Kind of Superman

Speaking of the future Hall of Famer, his energy was some of the best I’ve seen all year. He was so good in his bench minutes that he started the second half. Most players would lose their confidence when faced with DNPs, but not Superman. He was a driving force in flustering Jokic into his foul trouble. Offensively, he made himself a lob threat and screen-setter to free the Lakers ballhandlers. He finished with a playoff-high of 13 points.

Anthony Davis, Have A Day!

Last, but not least, what more can you say about this All-NBA superstar? His performance tonight is why he is worth every prospect and draft pick it cost to get him to Los Angeles. He had 37 points and 10 rebounds, scoring from all levels tonight.

The Lakers return to action on Sunday at 7:30 PM EST/4:30 PM PST.

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