Anthony Davis had 37 points and 10 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Lakers cruised to a 126-114 victory over the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Friday near Orlando.

Davis, who converted 12 of 21 shots from the floor, scored 20 points in the second half.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-5 on 3 pointers, while LeBron James added 15 points, 12 assists and six rebounds for the Lakers. Dwight Howard had 13 points off the bench and effectively defended Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.

Jamal Murray and Jokic each scored 21 points for Denver. Michael Porter Jr. had 14 points, but no other Denver players reached double figures.

Game 2 is Sunday.

The Lakers bolted to a double-digit lead in the second quarter and stayed in control for the rest of the contest. Los Angeles increased an 11-point halftime edge to 21 in the third quarter after a jumper by Davis gave them a 92-71 lead with 2:43 left. By the end of the quarter, the Lakers led 103-79.

Los Angeles outscored Denver 33-20 in the third.

A free throw by Danny Green after a technical-foul call on Murray capped a 17-1 Lakers run in the opening five minutes of the second quarter for a 53-39 advantage with 6:59 left.

The Nuggets also were forced to play much of the quarter without Jokic, who picked up his third foul with 7:22 remaining. Murray picked up his third with 3:53 left in the second.

Still, the Nuggets stayed within striking distance, trailing the Lakers 70-59 at the break despite being outscored 34-21 in the second quarter.

Los Angeles made 22 of 32 foul shots in the first half compared to 13 of 16 for Denver. Overall, the Lakers took sank 27 of 37 free throws to 23 of 28 for the Nuggets.

The Lakers connected on 53 percent of their field-goal attempts to 49.4 percent for the Nuggets.

--Field Level Media

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