"Lakers Show Grit Despite Tough Loss in Game 1 of Western Conference Finals vs Nuggets"

The Lakers had a tough start to the Western Conference Finals, falling 132-126 in Game 1 against the top seeded Denver Nuggets. Despite the large deficit coming out of the first half, Los Angeles nearly stole the game thanks to adjustments by coach Darvin Ham and a strong effort from Anthony Davis, who had 40 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. According to LeBron James, "we have to come back with desperation going into Game 2," noting that Los Angeles must play better and rebound better in order to even the series. Indeed, the No. 1 Nuggets were led by two-time MVP Nikola Jokic's brilliant night with 34 points, 21 rebounds, 14 assists, and two blocks, as well as Jamal Murray's 31 points on an efficient 12-for-20 shooting. One key adjustment made by the Lakers was having Rui Hachimura switch onto Jokic, allowing Davis to roam backline defense. Thus, "You have to switch up matchups at times and you have to switch up coverages," as Ham put it. The series is far from over, and the Lakers are looking to bounce back with a win in Game 2.