Byron Scott scored 13 points in the first 6:13 to get the Los Angeles Lakers started to an easy 139-122 victory over the Denver Nuggets in the first game of the NBA Western Conference finals today.
"Embarrassed?" Denver Coach Doug Moe said later, when someone suggested that he might be. "No. My pants are still on, why should I be embarrassed? It doesn't matter to us if we lose by 60 or one if we're going to lose. It's probably better to get blown out like that. It only counts as one loss.
"I just got through talking to them (the players) and I told them how good it was to be alive. I had to check to make sure they were still alive."
"We've been ready the first game at home for every playoff series," Coach Pat Riley of the Lakers said.
The second game in the best-of-seven series is scheduled here Tuesday night. The teams will play in Denver Friday and next Sunday.
Magic Johnson had only 10 points today but had 11 of his game-high 16 assists in the first half to facilitate Scott's quick start. Los Angeles led by 11-0 and 15-2 and never fell behind. After Kareem Abdul-Jabbar missed his team's first shot from the field, the Lakers shot 13 for 13 in going ahead by 29-13.
During that time Scott was five for five with two three-point shots. In all, he shot 12 for 16, mostly from outside, and scored 27 points.
"We just took it to them," he said. "I think we'll come out for Game 2 just like we came out for Game 1.
"I've never seen us shoot that well at the beginning of a game. We were just so prepared to play them. We wanted to play them very much. It's kind of like playing ourselves. They run the ball just like we do.
"There are no set plays for me. I just float off Magic."
When the Nuggets finally got going, they drew within 29-24. They never came closer.
Larry Spriggs of the Lakers suffered a broken nose in the second quarter. He is expected to wear a protective mask in Tuesday's game.