The Los Angeles Lakers saw their seven-game winning streak snapped with a 122-105 road loss to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.
While the team was able to get off to a much better start than the previous contests, things would eventually go downhill in the second quarter and the Lakers were unable to recover. LeBron James nearly posted another triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists, but overall his energy seemed to be a bit down.
That was especially true following Anthony Davis’ Achilles injury in the second quarter. One potential reason for a lack of energy is the high altitude that is always present in Denver and has been an issue for many teams when they come into town.
But LeBron dismissed the idea of that having much of an impact. “Pretty much after the first five minutes I was fine,” he said after the game. “I caught my second wind after that and it didn’t bother me for the rest of the game.”
James has never been one for excuses even if they were legitimate. Considering all of the minutes James played the prior week, being winded in the high altitude of Denver wouldn’t be too big of a surprise.
For his part, head coach Frank Vogel also made an attempt to help the Lakers adjust with his timeout usage early on.
“The only thing I’ll say is we always try to burn a few timeouts in that first quarter so everybody can get their legs under them,” Vogel added. “I think that worked out well to start the game, (but) what it does is make you vulnerable when they’re on a run as to how much you want to use timeouts to stop it.”
That run came in the second quarter and with the Lakers already down multiple timeouts, it was very difficult for Vogel to use another. But in the end it simply wasn’t the Lakers night and now it will be on Vogel, James, and the rest of the team to turn things around in the next game.
Vogel says LeBron is playing at a ‘remarkable’ level
James may not have had his best performance in Denver, but it does nothing to take away from what he has been doing this entire season. Many view LeBron as the MVP frontrunner early on and Vogel had nothing but praise for the Lakers superstar.
“He’s obviously been a big part of what we’re doing as a team, but he has these stretches where the game just comes so easy to him,” Vogel said.
“Whatever he wants to do he’s able to do. It’s really remarkable what he’s doing, whether it’s Year 18 or Year 10, it would still be remarkable. Obviously at this point in his career, to see him doing these types of things is just special.”
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