Despite Anthony Davis's 32 points and LeBron James' 27, the Los Angeles lakers fell 114-103 to the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of their first-round series in the NBA Playoffs.

After the game, LeBron spoke to the media and made it clear what the Lakers and any team with championship aspirations needs to do.

Said the Lakers superstar, “I've never played on a championship team that didn't pay attention to detail. There's no if, ands or buts about it. You have to.”

If anyone can speak to this, it's LeBron. James has won championships, not just with the Lakers but with the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. He knows what is required to make it through the gauntlet that is the NBA Playoffs, and that attention to detail is a massive part of that.

The Lakers didn't seem to have issues paying attention to detail in their Game 1 loss to the Nuggets, committing a reasonable 12 turnovers and 15 fouls. Their issues centered more around the fact that they shot 27.6 percent from the 3-point line and that no one apart from James and Davis was able to make a difference offensively.

But against a team like the Nuggets that can break opponents down methodically with their passing – both in the halfcourt and on the break – and also that features Nikola Jokic, the Lakers will need to be crisp in every facet of the game if they're going to have a chance in this series.

That means passing, generating quality shots, defensive rotations and closing out shooters, boxing out, all of it.

Nuggets manhandle the Lakers in Game 1

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) reacts during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers in game one of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Ball Arena
© Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Jokic had 32 points and 12 rebounds for the Nuggets in their opening-game win over the Lakers.

The Nuggets swept the Lakers in last season’s Western Conference finals, the next-to-last step the Nuggets had to clear before claiming their first NBA title. Los Angeles hasn't beaten the Nuggets since Dec. 16, 2022. They’ll try again Monday night in Game 2 at Ball Arena, where Denver is now 34-8 this season.

In Saturday's game, balanced team play was the difference.

Outside of James and Davis, the Lakers struggled to get anything going. D'Angelo Russell struggled to a 6-for-20 shooting night. Rui Hachimura only managed seven points in 31 minutes. Spencer Dinwiddie went scoreless. If the Lakers want to hang in against the Nuggets in this series, their role players will need to do a better job stepping up the rest of the way.

On the other end, while Denver is clearly led by Jokic, they managed to get contributions up and down the lineup.

Aside from their star center, two other Nuggets players posted double-doubles — Jamal Murray (22 points, 10 assists) and Aaron Gordon (12 points, 11 rebounds) — and Michael Porter Jr. came close with 19 points and eight boards of his own.

The Lakers look to get even against Denver on Monday night in Game 2.