The Los Angeles Lakers successfully bounced back from their loss against the Dallas Mavericks and beat the Denver Nuggets, 105-96.
The Nuggets scored the first five points of the game as they looked to attack early, but the Lakers responded with a 10-0 run keyed by several LeBron James-led drives to the basket. Los Angeles also did a good job defensively, running Denver off the three-point line and clearing the defensive boards.
Nikola Jokic threw some dimes to get the Nuggets offense going, but Troy Daniels responded with a pair of threes to help extend the Lakers lead. Denver’s bench unit upped the tempo of the game and narrowed the gap, but Los Angeles went into the second up 28-24.
The purple and gold struck first thanks to Rajon Rondo and Kyle Kuzma, forcing a quick timeout from Nuggets head coach Mike Malone. The break did the Nuggets well as they came out afterward looking much more energized and made the Lakers work for their stops and buckets.
Anthony Davis finally got going as he was able to convert a few field goals which seemed to also fuel him defensively as he looked much more active. Los Angeles played a well-disciplined game down the stretch that was spearheaded by Davis and Rondo that allowed them to go into the half up 60-49.
Los Angeles looked like they were going to continue their solid play from the first half, but Denver was able to go on a 14-4 run to tie up the game. The pace picked up considerably as the Lakers and Nuggets looked to get out in transition more, but the latter eventually took the lead thanks to a Paul Millsap three.
With the game looking like it might slip away, James and Davis began to take control as they alternated scoring the ball to help Los Angeles retake the lead. Rondo once again did well facilitating the offense and the Lakers went into the final quarter still up 84-76.
The fourth got off to a bit of a slow start as both teams struggled to shoot the ball so Los Angeles was able to maintain their lead. Dwight Howard provided a major spark for the Lakers as he rebounded the ball well and got free for a couple of lobs.
Even with Los Angeles looking like they might take control midway through the period, Denver continued to scrap and cut into their lead to keep the game close.
With the game winding down, Davis came up with several huge stops on Jokic and Murray and the Lakers escaped with the win.