Nuggets continue their mastery over Lakers in Game 1 in historic fashion

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Game One
Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Game One / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

On Saturday night, the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 114-103, recording their 9th straight win over the Lakers, dating back to 2022. While the #2 seed beating the #7 seed is not always a notable win, many NBA analysts have made it very clear that the Lakers should not be viewed as significant underdogs.

The Lakers led for much of the 1st half, but the Nuggets pulled away in the 2nd half and controlled the entirety of the 4th quarter. They also shot the 2nd-fewest free throws in a playoff game win in NBA history, with just 6 attempts.

The Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers while shooting the 2nd-fewest free throws ever in a playoff win.

The Nuggets were outshot 19-6 from the free throw line and no Denver player attempted more than two free throws. Two-time MVP, Nikola Jokic, split a pair of free throws, Aaron Gordon shot 2-2 from the line, and backup center DeAndre Jordan shot 2-2 as well. That was it. The Nuggets recorded 0 free throws in the 2nd half of a competitive NBA playoff game while playing on their home court, making their win even more impressive.

The only playoff game in which a winning team attempted fewer than 6 free throw attempts is from 1993, when the New Jersey Nets attempted just 3 free throws in a commanding 96-79 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Derrick Coleman made his lone free throw attempt and Chris Morris shot 2-2 from the line.

The Lakers and Nuggets face off for the second game of their series on Monday night, where Denver will seek their 10th win in a row against LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers. While it may be too early for a must-win game, the Lakers can't afford to go down 0-2 given their struggles against the Nuggets.