Champion Nuggets beat Lakers in NBA play-offs opener

The defending champion Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 114-103 to take a 1-0 lead in their NBA play-offs first-round series.

Nuggets star Nikola Jokic scored 32 points to help his side overcome a narrow deficit at half-time to win.

Elsewhere in the Western Conference, the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Phoenix Suns 120-95.

In the Eastern Conference, there were wins for the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Knicks recorded a 111-104 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, while the Cavaliers beat the Orlando Magic 97-83.

Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson led the Knicks with 22 points each as the second seeds responded to Philadelphia’s third-quarter surge by pulling in front late on to seal victory.

The Cavaliers never trailed the Magic in an impressive showing, with Donavon Mitchell scoring 30 points.

The Nuggets beat the Lakers in all of their regular season games but made a slow start before a 13-0 run in the third quarter put them in control.

Anthony Davis hit 32 points for the Lakers and LeBron James added 27 as they threatened a late comeback, but Denver held firm.

While the Suns won all three of their regular season games against the Timberwolves, the hosts turned the tables in game one of the play-offs as Anthony Edwards starred with 33 points.

Suns star Kevin Durant hit 31 points but his side faded badly in the third quarter, with Edwards trash-talking Durant after hitting a three-pointer.

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