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Lakers face defending champion Nuggets in Denver to open the playoffs

The Lakers open the playoffs Saturday in Denver, trying to end an eight-game losing streak against the defending NBA champion Nuggets.

Denver won the final regular-season game between the teams last season, defeated the Lakers in the Western Conference finals en route to its first NBA title and won all three games this regular season.

“They know what it takes, they know how to win,” Lakers forward LeBron James said. “They have been extremely dominant in their home in recent years. They have an MVP on their team, they have a closer on their team. They have players with high IQs and a great coach.