In the derby of the night, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated Denver Nuggets, after overtimes in Colorado. The final result was 120-116 for the purple and gold, who rebuffed Denver’s possible push at the top seed of the Western Conference. It was their second win of the season here at Pepsi Center.
“Defense,” said Anthony Davis once asked what was the key for winning this one. “Defense..getting big stops and making big shots.”
It was a highly intense game, which was once again spoiled with the referees. With 4:44 until the end of the third, Nikola Jokic was called for a foul his fourth. It was a very problematic situation for the Nuggets, as we all know that the Joker is the heart and the soul of this unit. But, what was even worse is that the referees missed what was an obvious travel by AD which preceded the foul.
The entire lineup of the Nuggets, as well as coach Michael Malone went berserk, but there was no way to persuade the officials to change or even check their decision.
Eventually, it was what kept the Lakers in the game, especially after they slowed down following a good opener of that sequence, once they had 13 points of advantage. But, that is what it is.
The guests from LA had a chance to win the game in the regular time, but LeBron missed the game-winner with 1.5 seconds to go. LBJ posted a triple-double tonight, with 32 points, 14 assists, and 12 boards, whooting threes 1-for-7.
“I just try to be as laser-sharp as I could, laser-focused,” said LeBron, following the match. “I wanted to play extremely well tonight, I wanted us to play extremely well, going to the break on a high note.”
Davis posted 33 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks, assists, and steals each. What Eyebrow emphasized was the contribution of all the guys from the bench. He stated that the second unit played extremely well and that at some point, they were the ones who kept the team in the game.
Frank Vogel, too, praised those players, emphasizing the respective performances of Alex Caruso and Dwight Howard.
“It’s a different guy every night, and it’s a testament to our culture, of guys pushing each other and pulling for each other.”
The Superman had 14 points and 11 boards, while Caruso added 10 points had six rebounds and 4 assists.
On the other side, Jokis scored 22 points with 11 boards and 6 assists and three steals. The Serb was handicapped as we said due to the foul trouble, and that pretty much disrupted his flow. Jamal Murray scored 32 points, had 10 assists, while Jerami Grant added 15.
Probably played him too many minutes. He played well. Put the ball in the basket,” said Malone about Murray. “I just felt down the stretch he and Nikola have to be better in terms of running the offense, getting the right shot.”
The Nuggets (38-17) lost this one and are half a game ahead of the Clippers who have a game in hand at the moment. But not just that, the Jazzers who defeated the Miami Heat are near, and instead of decreasing the gap between them and the Lakers they are back in the fight for the second seed.
Up next they travel to OKC to face the Thunder, then come back home for a two-game stand against the Timberwolves and the Pistons.
Meanwhile, the Lakers (41-12) are ahead of a three-game home stretch where they host the Grizzlies, the Celtics and the Pelicans.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.