The Los Angeles Lakers lost Game 1 of their first-round playoff series to the Denver Nuggets, and D'Angelo Russell's ineffectiveness from the field was a key lowlight for the Lakers on Saturday.

Russell, who had a resurgent season, during which he appeared to play himself off of the trade block near the deadline, had lots of trouble with his shot in Game 1. Russell was 6-20 from the field, including 1-9 from three-point range. He totaled 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 1 turnover in 41 minutes of play as the Lakers fell 114-103 on the road, which sparked lots of negative reactions from fans on social media.

After the game, Russell answered questions from the media and indicated that it just was not his night.

“I can't be mad. I don't recall the last time I got 20 shots. So for me to get 20 good looks — not 20 good, probably five or six of them were questionable — but I know what I'm capable of, so honestly, I'm excited, excited about that,” Russell said. “Sometimes the ball just don't fall. I was locked in on all the details and the little things to try to stay on the floor defensively and things like that, and you look up and your shots aren't falling. No love lost, can't be upset about that one. [I'll] be ready for the next one.

D'Angelo Russell's struggles vs. the Denver Nuggets

Los Angeles Lakers player D'Angelo Russell guarded by Denver Nuggets player Nikola Jokic

While LeBron James and Anthony Davis are certainly the best players on the Los Angeles Lakers, D'Angelo Russell, as well as Austin Reaves, are vital to the Lakers' chances of winning their first-round series. Last year in the Western Conference Finals, the Nuggets swept the Lakers despite four rather competitive games. In that series, Russell was disappointing to such a degree that his playing time tanked as Lakers coach Darvin Ham searched for a better fit to play against Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and the rest of the Nuggets.

After playing 26 minutes and 33 minutes in Games 1 and 2 of last year's playoff series, Russell played just 35 combined minutes over the final two games, recording 7 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 turnovers total. His shooting in that series was even more disappointing than Saturday's outing; Russell shot 10-31 from the field and 2-15 on threes over the four-game series.

If the Lakers have any chance of beating the Nuggets, which hasn't happened in more than two years, Russell will have to reclaim at least some of the offensive form he found in the regular season. The team will also need Reaves to be better than he was on Saturday.

The Lakers' shifty guard attempted only nine shots, his fewest in his last eight playoff games, as he tallied 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists while shooting 2-6 on threes. Last year in the playoffs against the Nuggets, Reaves averaged 21 points and shot 56% from three-point range on 6.3 attempts per game.

While Reaves and Russell will need to play better the rest of this series, the Nuggets are a hard matchup for any team, particularly because of their second-half surges. Saturday was just another example, as the Lakers had taken a 60-57 lead into halftime only for the Nuggets to outscore them by 14 in the third quarter and break even in the fourth to pull out a double-digit win. Last year, the Lakers led in two of their four playoff games against the Nuggets but lost thanks to big second halves from Denver.

The Nuggets and Lakers will play Game 2 in Denver tomorrow at 10 p.m. ET.