Denver wins first Western Final against Lakers: Stellar performance from Nikola Jokic and key shots missed by LeBron James

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with a huge triple double of its star, Serbian Nikola JokicDenver Nuggets won this Tuesday at home 132-126 against the Los Angeles Lakers, in the first game of the NBA Western Conference Finals.

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The visiting team separated the rival by 21 points and in the second half scored a great comeback that allowed them to reach the decisive moments of the match with opportunities to overturn the result against the best team in the West in the regular season.

However, shortly after the end, LeBron James conspicuously missed some key shotswhich could have changed the outcome of the match.

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JokicFor his part, he controlled the pace of the game with surprising ease and scored a goal from monumental show 34 points (12-of-17 shooting), 21 rebounds (6 offensive) and 14 assists to pick up his sixth playoff triple-double.

The Serbian, double MVP (2021 and 2022) and who had reached that triple figure in the third quarter, was the main offensive argument for the Nuggets, who fell in the last quarter and were close to giving up the victory.

Jokic’s performance was not an isolated case in Denver, which is aiming to reach the NBA Finals for the first time. The Nuggets had six players in double figures and among these stood out Jamal Murray, with 31 points.

“In the first half we were very good, we controlled the game, the pace, the defense, everything. And then in the second half we lost our temper that we had in the first part,” said Jokic.

Furthermore, he underlined: “We knew they would come back, they are a tough team. But it doesn’t matter if you win by a point or by 20 at this point of the year, A win is a win“.

LeBron James: good numbers and bad shots at the end

LeBron James’ numbers, meanwhile, weren’t bad away from it. In fact, he finished the game with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists, and was one of the protagonists of the visit, together with Anthony Davis, who shone with 40 points and 10 rebounds.

However, some actions that occurred in the decisive stretch of the match somewhat tarnished the performance of the Lakers’ “6”. With just over two and a half minutes left to play and his team trailing by four points, LeBron faced the field goal, jumped and shot. If his shot landed, Los Angeles was just two points behind Denver, but failed.

As if that weren’t enough, the Nuggets’ fast break ended with an alley oop between Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon, which pushed the lead to 6 points in favor of the hosts.

LeBron tried again later but luck was not on his side: with 45 seconds left the star of the Los Angeles cast he missed a triple in front of the basket that he would wear a tie. Jokic then returned to the ring and made three crucial free throws to certify the victory of the Nuggets, who seek rematch for elimination in this same round in the 2020 playoffs.

The second game of the tie, best of seven, will be played on Thursday also at the Nuggets’ Ball Arena.

For its part, the Eastern Conference final will kick off this Wednesday from 21:30 (Argentina time) with the visit of the Miami Heat to the Boston Celtics.

With information from agencies.


Source: Clarin

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