Nobody came out with more energy and effort in Game 1 last night than Nikola Jokic. He has 8 points, 12, rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks in just the first quarter. The rest of Denver’s roster was thriving in the first half, but the Lakers responded with a strong third and fourth to keep the game closer than expected. Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic are the 3rd pair of opposing starting centers to each have 30 points in a playoff game.
The Laker’s big man did have 40 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks last night in Game 1. However, that was not enough to match Nikola Jokic’s 34/21/14. He had a triple-double through three quarters and the Nuggets has a 21-point lead at one point in the third.
Davis and the Lakers would storm back in the third, but Jokic would hit four clutch free-throws to seal the game for Denver. NBA betting sites have the Lakers at (+198) to win Game 2 on the road.
Over the last 50 years, Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic are the 3rd pair of opposing starting centers to each have 30 points in a playoff game.
They join Hakeem Olajuwon-Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon-David Robinson, both in 1995. pic.twitter.com/F138t9MQBG
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 17, 2023
Nikola Jokic dominated the first three-quarters of Game 1 last night
Throughout the 2023 playoffs, Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic have been the best players for the respective teams. That is why they find themselves matched up against each other in the Western Conference Finals. Jokic has the second-highest scoring average of all active players still alive in the postseason.
In Denver’s first 12 playoff games, he has 1 50+ point game, 1 40+ point game, and 4 30+ point games. Along with that, he has six triple-doubles, including three in his last three games played. This postseason he’s averaging 31/13/10 along with 1 steal. The Nuggets are also a perfect 7-0 at home this postseason.
Jokic’s matchup this playoff series is Anthony Davis, who had a relatively quiet 40-point performance last night. This postseason Davis has 1 40+ point game, 3 30+ point games, 10 double-doubles, and six games with at least 4 blocks. Last night, Davis and Jokic became the 3rd pair of opposing starting centers to each have 30 points in a playoff game.