Nikola Jokic recorded a triple-double of 32 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists, leading the Nuggets past the Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals (132-126).
The Serbian superstar shot 12-for-17 from the field (3/3 three-pointers). In the second half Los Angeles used Rui Hachimura to guard Jokic.
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham was asked about the decision to use Hachimura and how it came about. “Just pivoting within the game, making a slight adjustment,” he said. “Wanted to take A [Anthony Davis] off as being initial line of defense and hopefully Rui could turn him making go East, West a little bit more.
“And once he went up to shoot, he shoots 70 percent on those floaters, those little short-range chip shots and floaters, and hooks, and little one leg fadeaways. He scores them at an amazing rate.
“So just the idea was just to get A behind him a little bit more and have A as that big long arm just ready to contest over the top of Rui. It was good for us in some segments and we were able to after the thought first half giving up 72 points claw our way back into it. I think the closest we got was within three.”