The Denver Nuggets (62-32) got up to a huge lead in Game 1, and they let that lead slip away with the Los Angeles Lakers (51-45) putting up a furious comeback in the fourth quarter. They held on for the Game 1 victory, and they’re three wins away from their first NBA Finals. Tonight, they’re back in action for Game 2 as they look to continue to protect their home court, where they’re 7-0 during these playoffs.

For the Nuggets, they looked as though they were en route to a blowout win in Game 1. They were leading by 18 at halftime, and the Lakers didn’t appear to have an answer for anything Denver was doing. In the second half, the Lakers got some stuff rolling, and they got to within three late in the fourth before Denver was able to clutch up late in the game for the win.

For the Lakers, the hope is that their late-game adjustments can frustrate the Nuggets moving forward in the series. The big talking point was the matchup of Rui Hachimura on Nikola Jokic. When he was in the lineup guarding Jokic, the Nuggets’ offense bogged down which let Los Angeles back in the game. If that plan works early on in this one, Denver will need to find an alternate plan of attack.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (62-32, 41-7 home) vs Los Angeles Lakers (51-45, 24-16 away)

When: 6:30 p.m. MST

Where: Ball Arena

How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy..unless it’s the romanticized 18th-century type. AltitudeTV where available. ESPN. Show up in Denver. 92.5 FM KKSE Altitude Sports Radio

Expected Starting Lineups:

LAL: PG Dennis Schroder, SG D’Angelo Russell, SF Austin Reaves, PF LeBron James, C Anthony Davis

DEN: PG Jamal Murray, SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SF Michael Porter Jr., PF Aaron Gordon, C Nikola Jokic

Injuries: Anthony Davis (foot) PROBABLE, LeBron James (foot) PROBABLE, Mo Bamba (ankle) OUT

Three Things to Watch

Avoid Foul Trouble

Late in Game 1, there was a clear shift in how the game was being officiated. After being called for seven fouls in the first half, Denver was called for 14 in the second half. Jamal Murray and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each finished with five in Game 1, and Murray had a sixth one reassigned following a successful challenge. The Lakers are fourth among all playoff teams and first among the remaining teams in free-throw attempts per game. Racking up fouls and giving them free chances to score is not a recipe for success.

Guard the Arc

The Lakers do most of their damage inside the arc, but the 3-point arc is where they can gain or lose a ton of room to operate. In Game 1, the Lakers shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range. In the playoffs as a whole, their 33.8 percent from downtown ranks 11th among the 16 playoff teams. If Denver can keep their outside shooters from scoring open looks, that will leave less room for LeBron James and Anthony Davis to work.

Involve Everyone

This is the same third point from Game 1, but it still firmly fits into the game plan. In Game 1, the Nuggets had all five starters in double figures, including KCP, who had 21 points in the game. When the guys around Jokic and Jamal Murray are active and involved in the offense, the rest of the floor opens up. Whether it’s as cutters or spot-up shooters, making sure to get everyone else involved will help you on both ends of the floor.