NBA: Nuggets hand Lakers fourth-straight defeat

Nikola Jokic puts up all-star numbers against the Lakers. (Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Denver Nuggets bounced back from a blowout loss against the Portland Trailblazers and added to Los Angeles Lakers’ woes after keeping their NBA season winless so far, 110-99, held at the Ball Arena.

NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP) Nikola Jokic quickly redeemed himself from a nine-point outing in Portland and dropped 31 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, and four steals on the Lakers.

Jokic started the game on a high note with his offensive prowess in the post while running their offensive sets that helped them notch the early lead.

On the other hand, the Lakers ran their offense through Davis and established him in his sweet spots. Despite early buckets from the towering power forward, Denver still managed to grab a 26-22 lead.

Newly-acquired guard Bruce Brown Jr. then started Denver’s three-point party after knocking down three huge treys that ballooned their lead to 10, 51-41, with 2:25 remaining in the second quarter.

Just when the Nuggets thought they could snowball their way against the Lakers, LeBron James and Lonnie Walker led the Los Angeles assault that capped off a 13-3 closing run to deadlock the game at 54-all heading into the second half.

Things were going the Lakers’ way at the start of the third quarter after Davis buried a tough fade-away jump shot at the top of the key, putting them up by a deuce, 56-54.

However, Denver countered with a 12-2 burst that helped them snatch the lead back, 66-58, after Jokic’s explosion.

From there, the Nuggets didn’t look back and held the Lakers to just 15 points in seven minutes to close out the third frame with an emphatic 32-17 scoring.

James attempted to assert himself soon as the fourth quarter started after scoring five quick points that cut Denver’s lead to just seven points, 89-82.

A series of turnovers and missed shots unfortunately affected Los Angeles’ comeback attempt in the fourth quarter and was capitalized by Denver which ran a high-octane up-and-down offensive show led by Bones Hyland and Jamal Murray.

Backstopping Jokic in the scoring department is Brown Jr. who fired 18 points on 4/6 shooting from downtown while Murray chipped in 13 points, six assists, and four rebounds.

Meanwhile, Davis top-scored the Lakers with 22 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists while James added 19 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds.

Los Angeles will have the chance to grab their first win of the season when they square off against the young Minnesota Timberwolves squad tomorrow while Denver is looking to bounce back against the Utah Jazz which gave them their first defeat.