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Lebron James’ First Game as a Laker

AP

AP

Nancy Zhang, Writer

Never has there been a more controversial NBA game. Lebron James, once part of the Cleveland Cavaliers, recently signed to join the Los Angeles Lakers this July on a contract of $153.3 million, crushing the dreams of Cavaliers fans everywhere. The NBA star played his first game as a Laker against the Denver Nuggets on Oct. 2.

This highly anticipated game had a very surprising ending for excited Lakers fans. The first quarter saw the Lakers ahead by seven points, at 33-26. Rajon Rondo, point guard for the Lakers, started the game off with a two point shot. This was quickly matched for the Nuggets when Nikola Jokic made a layup, assisted by Monte Morris. Within the next two minutes, Lakers small forward Brandon Ingram made a step-back jumpshot, scoring another two points. Once again, the Nuggets quickly matched this score when Torrey Craig made both of his free throws. The general trend of the first quarter stayed constant. Neither the Lakers nor the Nuggets gained a safe space of points, and the quarter ended with only seven points in between. Although the Nuggets slowed down in the first half of the first quarter, they were never too far behind the Lakers.

However, there was a more significant gap in the second quarter, which ended with the Lakers still ahead at 59-48. Jokic and Morris proved to be prominent players in the second quarter, both scoring more than twice. Yet, it was still difficult for the Nuggets to keep up with the Lakers’ consistent shots and defense. James made two more set back jump shots from more than twenty feet away. Although the Nuggets still made many shots, consisting of Torey Craig’s free throws and Will Barton’s three-pointer shots, assisted by Jokic, they also played poorly in terms of turnovers and missed shots. The third quarter ended at 84-78 with the Lakers still up with six points. In the beginning of the third quarter, James sat out. His substitute was JaVale McGee, who almost immediately made an incredible alley oop dunk shot with the help of Rajon Rondo. The Lakers rushed forward with another seven points before Jokic shot a three, assisted by Will Barton. Luke Walton made the first technical foul on Barton, who made a technical free throw. Ingram was substituted by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Otherwise, the third quarter was slightly absent in interesting moments.

In the first and final quarter, the Lakers began to fall behind. Perhaps this was due to James sitting out. The rest of the team suffered from the lack of Lebron, and their deteriorating performance was evident on the field. Trey Lyles of the Nuggets sank a shot from 13 feet, and their Nuggets began to gain more confidence. He assisted Mason Plumlee with a dunk, and the game was effectively tied at 84-84. He then assisted Malik Beasley with a two-point shot, pulling the Nuggets ahead of the Lakers for the first time. From then, the winning team alternated. However, the Nuggets eventually defeated the Lakers at 113-111. Laker fans everywhere could not satisfy their expectations any longer. The addition of the legendary Lebron James was not able to grant them victory.

Photo courtesy of SPORTSILLUSTRATED.COM

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Lebron James’ First Game as a Laker