Lakers takeaways: Why Anthony Davis and LeBron James weren't good enough in Game 1

One of the simplest ways the Lakers could turn around their fate from their multi-season struggles with the Denver would be for LeBron James and Anthony Davis, together, to out-play Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

Saturday in Game 1, the Lakers’ stars combined for 59 points on 56.4% shooting from the field while grabbing 20 rebounds and dishing out 13 assists. Jokic and Murray? They had 54 on 51% shooting, 18 rebounds and 17 assists.

But the edge to the Lakers, albeit statistically slight, sure didn’t feel like an advantage by the end of Game 1.

Maybe it was seven James turnovers (and two from Davis), the exact kinds of mistakes a team can’t make when facing a machine like the Nuggets. Maybe it was Davis’ heavy legs in transition after 45 minutes while Jokic ran baseline to baseline.

And Jokic and Murray committed just one turnover between them, the two players who touch it most for Denver valuing the ball in ways the Lakers couldn’t overcome.

While Davis and James were good, they, like virtually everyone who played for the Lakers, weren’t good enough.

“I’ve never played on the championship team and didn’t pay attention to detail,” James said after the loss. “There’s no ifs, ands our buts about it. You have to.”

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