The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Denver Nuggets 123-109 to take Game 1 on Saturday night.
The Blazers strategy involved isolating Nikola Jokic into a scorer to take away his passing game.
"We want him to score and not get his teammates involved. When he scores, I think we have a better chance. The fact he isn't involving all his teammates, he gets more dangerous when he's in and out. I think we feel more comfortable when he scores 30 or 40 and try to lock in on all the other guys to not have a big game," said Jusuf Nurkic after the game.
Jokic scored 34 points, though only finished with a playoff career low one assist in the game.
The Nuggets shot 1-for-10 from the field off passes from Jokic, according to ESPN.
Jokic noticed that the Blazers weren't helping when he got the ball.
"They were playing me straight up. They were going under pick-and-rolls. They didn't help much on my drives or post-ups. It was that kind of night.
"They did a good job. They made me work for it on every possession. They kind of took other guys out. I couldn't get other guys involved, maybe. Just because of the assists, I'm saying that."