The Nuggets took advantage of LeBron James’ absence to calm the Lakers
Without LeBron James, the Lakers has a lot to do in Colorado to maintain their five-game winning streak but also their undefeated streak in 2023. Facing nuggets looking to maintain first place in the Western Conference, they held on as much as they could to create a surprise, but in the end they had to give up – logically – their weapons over time (122-109).
Guided by Jamal Murray (34 points, 7 rebounds) and Nikola Jokic (14 points, 11 rebounds, 16 assists), denver lead from start to finish match Los Angeles, counting as many as 20 points ahead in the fourth quarter. The streak, along with the 11th straight home victory and, overall, the 13th victory in 16 games…
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
— Nikola Jokic, perfection incarnate. And another. Author of his 87th career triple-double, the reigning double MVP allowed himself to achieve it without missing a shot: 5/5, with 1/1 on 3-pts and 3/3 on free throws . Eager not to force anything in scoring and apply to turn the game of the Nuggets, by putting Jamal Murray and his teammates in confidence, the “Joker” dominated as usual, giving the impression that only at 50% of its potential. A truly silent force, in front of which it never ceases to delight.
— This is too much for Los Angeles. Courageously, the Lakers did everything they could to fight off an impressive Nuggets group. Unfortunately for them, between the absences of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, Lonnie Walker IV or even Troy Brown Jr, to which we have to add as a bonus that of Patrick Beverley, who had an injury to hip while on the way. , they are too weak to rely on anything. Especially when you know Darvin Ham’s men are playing their third game there in four days.
✅ Jamal Murray. Along with Nikola Jokic, the Canadian also hurt the Lakers a lot tonight. Author of his record of points for the season, rained down by wolves (13/29 on shots) and having a lot of time to express himself, in a role of the first offensive option. We noticed in particular that he was, in the third or fourth quarter, in charge of silencing the attempts come back from Los Angeles. While he also allowed Denver to break away from the score, from the second quarter. A good sign for the future, therefore, and confirmation that the leader is gaining momentum.
✅ Max Christie. In the alternating current, Russell Westbrook (25 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists) definitely finished as the leading scorer and passer of the Lakers, but he also messed up a lot with the ball (7 ball losses) and he entered his match slowly (2/ 11 in shots to start). As a result, we prefer to keep the good performance of the rookie from Los Angeles. For his first career tenure, the 35th pick of the last Draft was thus responsible for replacing none other than… LeBron James, but he didn’t deflate for all that. Set his new personal best (14 points) and flirt with his spontaneity in the game.
⛔ Dennis Schröder. He has had some good outings (21.4 points on average for five games, and even 26.7 for three games), but the German also hit the ground running last night: 14 points, but on 3/13 on shots and 0/ 5. on 3-pts. Clumsy, and mostly frustrated in the course of the meeting, he nevertheless had the merit of going to the line (8/8 in throws) to reduce his night without a shoot. Other than that, without LeBron James, the Lakers would have needed more from their point guard.
Denver (27-13) : reception of Phoenix, in the evening of Wednesday to Thursday (04:00).
Los Angeles (19-22) : reception of Dallas, in the evening from Thursday to Friday (04:00).