The Denver Nuggets’ synergy and connectivity remained at an all-time high in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Locked in a tight fourth-quarter battle against the Los Angeles Lakers, all five Nuggets players touched the ball during an impressive defense-to-offense sequence. Following a pair of Lakers misses, Nikola Jokić and Michael Porter Jr. grappled for possession of the rebound, with Porter Jr. hitting the hardwood as he continued wrestling for control. Out of the pile Porter Jr. got the ball into the hands of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who fired an outlet pass up the floor to an in-transition Jamal Murray. For the grand finale, Murray lofted an alley-oop to Aaron Gordon for a highlight-reel slam that pushed the Nuggets’ lead to six with 2:27 remaining. The Lakers never got closer than three points the rest of the way as Denver put the finishing touches on a 132-126 series-opening win on May 16, 2023.
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