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LeBron demands ‘mistake-free basketball’ against the Nuggets

LeBron James admits the Los Angeles Lakers will have to play “mistake-free basketball” if they are to stand a chance against the Denver Nuggets in the NBA play-offs.

The Lakers advanced to a first-round meeting with the second-seeded Nuggets courtesy of a 110-106 win over the New Orleans Pelicans in the play-in tournament.

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Denver have won their last eight contests against the Lakers and swept them in last year’s Western Conference finals on their way to the title.

“They know what it takes. They know how to win,” said James. 

“They’ve been extremely dominant on their home floor over the last few years. They’ve got an MVP on their team. They’ve got a closer on their team. They’ve got high-level players, high-IQ players. And they’ve got a hell of a coach.

“So, we have to play mistake-free basketball. Make it tough on them. They’re going to try to make it tough on us, obviously. But if we can play as great of a game as we can play, and they’re going to play as great of a game as they play, it’s going come down to one or two possessions. And we’ll see who executes then.”

The Lakers are confident Anthony Davis will be fit for Game 1 on Saturday after struggling with back spasms against the Pelicans.

“I think the way it affected me the most is just as far as moving, going to get offensive rebounds and things like that,” Davis said. 

“Just my presence at the rim, it was just tough. But we got it done. We got it done. And I have a couple days now to kind of get it back to normal and get ready for Saturday.

“I feel like I’ll be 100 per cent as far as the back goes come Saturday.”

The Lakers have won 12 of their last 15 contests but Davis accepts facing the Nuggets will be a tough assignment.

He added: ”I think we’re clicking at the right time. 

“Guys are playing well. Guys are very confident. Guys are feeling good. And we’re going to need it – especially against Denver.”

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