The Los Angeles Lakers needed a win to cleanse the bad taste in their mouths after blowing a late-game lead against the Boston Celtics.
The Lakers didn’t get much of a break against the Denver Nuggets, who have been playing well as of late, but they saw their stars step up to lead them to a victory.
Anthony Davis looked well on his way to a big night after scoring 10 points in the first quarter, but unfortunately he seemed to hurt his foot on a shot attempt. Although he remained in the game briefly, he left in the second quarter and was eventually ruled out for the rest of the evening.
Despite Davis’s absence, his co-stars were able to carry the load in the second half. LeBron James made sure that the offense didn’t miss a beat as he was able to get to his spots all over the floor. James overwhelmed the Nuggets defense with several dunks and drives to the rim, and in the fourth quarter hit jumper after jumper to seal the victory.
King James would finish the night with a game-high 30 points to go along with nine rebounds and four assists. He also recorded two steals that moved him passed Hakeem Olajuwon on the all-time steals list.
Perhaps more impressive was Russell Westbrook, who came through in the second half as both a playmaker and scorer. Westbrook seemed like he was everywhere on the floor, grabbing rebounds and pushing the pace to find easy shots for himself and his teammates.
The point guard has thrived in his bench role and against the Nuggets recorded his second triple-double of the 2022-23 season with 15 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds. He became the first Lakers player in franchise history to record multiple triple-doubles off the bench.
Aside from the stars, the role players also had stellar outings. Thomas Bryant was Los Angeles’s second leading scorer, dropping 21 points in place of Davis. Austin Reaves was also another source of offense for the Lakers, pouring in 16 points of his own and even drawing MVP chants from the Crypto.com Arena crowd.
On the other side, Nikola Jokic almost had his own triple-double as he finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists.
What’s next for Lakers
L.A. finishes their home stand with their final game against the Washington Wizards on Sunday. They then hit the road for a two-game swing against the Phoenix Suns on Monday followed by the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.
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