“He Had a Lot of Help”: Moments After Nikola Jokic Dismantles LeBron James and AD, Lakers Legend Magic Johnson Reacts to Nail-Biting Game 1 of WCF 2023

Published 05/17/2023, 1:12 AM EDT

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Denver hosted a thriller in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. The home side seemed to be cruising to a convincing victory, however, the roaring Los Angeles Lakers made a massive comeback. It came down to one possession with just three points separating the two teams. Nonetheless, Nikola Jokic and Co. survived the late Lakers flurry. After the dramatic finish, Magic Johnson gave his analysis and felt all credit should go to the Nuggets.

Denver won the game 132-126 to take the lead in the WCF at home. What seemed to be a foregone conclusion at the half turned into a heart-in-mouth situation in the final quarter as the teams battled it out with intensity,

Magic Johnson praises Nikola Jokic for beating LeBron James and the Lakers


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The final score might seem close, but it was far from it for the majority of the night. Before the Purple and Gold found a new gear, The Joker had imposed himself in the game. He had accumulated a triple-double halfway through the third quarter, completely slicing through the revered Laker defense. He was the primary force for Denver tonight. The two-time MVP finished his incredibly efficient night with 34 points, 21 rebounds, and 14 assists.

Lakers legend, Magic Johnson was quick to react to the Game 1 war and had all praise for Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. “Nikola Jokić dominated the Lakers and finished with a 34-point, 21 rebound, 14 assist triple-double. He had a lot of help from Murray who scored 31 points. Overall, it was a great team effort by the Nuggets to beat our Lakers,” he tweeted.


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It was a game where two elite offenses clashes in an entertaining night of basketball. Both sides shot over 50% from the field. The Nuggets starters did most of the heavy lifting. Jamal Murray is truly back to his Bubble-self as he shot his way to 31 points tonight. Former Laker Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 21, including some crucial baskets in the fourth quarter.


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Anthony Davis didn’t back down from the much-talked-about matchup against Jokic. He scored a game-high 40 points accompanied by 10 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. LeBron James had a near triple-double with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists. Once again, it was Austin Reaves who sparked the comeback, scoring 23 on the night.

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While down 0-1, the Lakers found something, a change that momentarily choked Denver. As soon as Rui Hachimura switched on The Joker, it gave Anthony Davis space to operate. Hachimura is bound to be a huge impact-maker in this series. The Purple and Gold may have lost, but the Nuggets are the ones who will be scratching their heads tonight.


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Do you think this series will last long, or will Jokic take down LeBron James and AD quickly? Let us know your views in the comments below.


Written by:

Anuj Talwalkar


One take at a time

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having composed close to 2000 articles, he aspires to manage his own team one day and is pursuing a top-tier college-level management program specializing in sports. Anuj's love for basketball blossomed after he started following the NBA a few years ago, and he decided to merge his writing skills with his understanding of this thrilling game.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth