Lakers dominate Nuggets in NBA Western finals opener

Miami (AFP) –

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Anthony Davis scored 37 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers dominated the Denver Nuggets 126-114 on Friday in game one of the NBA Western Conference finals.

LeBron James added 15 points with 12 assists and six rebounds for the Lakers, who shot out of the gate after dropping their opener in each of the previous two playoff series in the NBA's coronavirus quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.

After a close first quarter ended with the Nuggets up by two, the Lakers seized control in the second quarter, out-scoring Denver 34-21 to take a 70-59 lead into halftime.

Well aware that the Nuggets used some big second-half comebacks to oust the Los Angeles Clippers in the previous round, the Lakers made sure they left no opening.

Denver trimmed the deficit to nine points midway through the third quarter.

But their efforts were hampered with star Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap all in early foul trouble, and that was the closest they would get in the second half.

Jokic and Murray both scored 21 points to pace the Nuggets. Michael Porter added 14 off the bench.

"We haven't done anything special," Davis said. "We basically took care of home court. We have three more to go."

The best-of-seven series continues with game two on Sunday.