Today in Sports: 9/18/20 Review

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers defeat Denver Nuggets 126-114 in game 1 of the Western Conference Finals – Lakers lead series 1-0

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Denver Nuggets 126-114 in the first game of this best-of-seven Western Conference Finals. This game was not as close as the score would indicate, the Lakers had a comfortable lead the entire second half. Both teams had their garbage time lineups in the fourth quarter, trying to get through this game without injury or tipping their hand to potential adjustments.

The Lakers shot an absurd 24 free throws in the second quarter. Although they were being aggressive attacking the basket, the calls were all going the Lakers way in the second quarter after a 38-36 Nuggets first quarter. This seemed all too familiar to NBA conspiracy theorists, and although it’s unlikely a showing of intentional bias it was a showing of incompetence and favoritism towards the Lakers’ two superstars: LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Young teams like the Nuggets rarely get these type of calls in playoff games, and today was no exception with both Nuggets’ stars Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray having to sit large portions of the second quarter because of foul trouble. The Nuggets will get swept if they continue getting this tough whistle, but they cannot afford to worry about something out of their control given how poorly they played.

Game two of the Western Conference Finals will be on Sunday at 4:30 PM PT on TNT.

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