Rui Hachimura scored 17 points but his Los Angeles Lakers could not overcome the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the NBA's Western Conference finals on Tuesday.

Playing more than 28 minutes off the bench, the Japanese power forward made eight of his 11 field goal attempts to help the Lakers cut a 21-point deficit to three with just over a minute to go. The Nuggets eventually prevailed 132-126 at Ball Arena in Denver.

Star center Nikola Jokic put together a spectacular 34-point, 21-rebound, 14-assist triple-double, shooting 70.6% from the field, to lead the top-seeded Nuggets to within three wins of their first NBA finals appearance.