Toward the end of the second quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers missed a rare shot of the half ... a rebound bounced high off the rim and was being grabbed by both Kenneth Faried and Timofey Mozgov. Timo ended up with the rebound. What made an otherwise unremarkable, every night, basketball play telling was Faried getting angry at Mozgov for taking the rebound.
That, my friends is never a good sign. Judging by the way the game started, you'd think the Nuggets were on their way to another humiliating loss.
Meanwhile the now 10-22 Lakers put on a shooting clinic and, often, their shots were wide open. The Nuggets inexplicably began the game by trapping Kobe Bryant, rather than forcing him to shoot. This opened up Bryant's passing game, and he ended up with 5 assists in the first 6 minutes of the game. From there on, the Nuggets seemed to lose heart and the Lakers essentially coasted from the second quarter on.
Kobe finished with a triple double 23 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds.
The Lakers hit 14 of 25 three point shots, as stated above many were of the wide open variety.
In the fourth quarter, Jusuf Nurkic came in and began to single handedly turn the game around for the Nugs. With defense, toughness and all around game the Bosnian big man turned the game from a blowout to a more respectable score. How can you watch this guy's game and not absolutely think he will be amazing. While he did have a couple silly turnovers his heart, his energy his WILL was amazing to watch. Nurkic finished with 16 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots. My man.
Nate Robinson is a complicated guy. His energy and spark was absolutely key in the 4th quarter. However, a series of dumb technicals in the 4th quarter took what could have been a winnable game for the Nuggets to something much more comfortable for the Lakers. He finished with 13 points, mostly in the 4th. It's great to have his energy when it's working for you, when it's working against you it's hard to fathom.
On a concerning note, Wilson Chandler had a quad contusion that kept him out of the second half of the game. This is concerning because Ill Will has been plagued with muscle injuries that kept him out of games here and there before. Hopefully he can come back strong.
Outside of that...while the Nuggets took a potential blowout and made it close ... the Nuggets just didn't have it tonight against a team they should have beaten. At home. The stands were overflowing with Lakers fans and the team looked, at times, like they didn't care.
I don't know where you go from here, but changes have to happen. No way the Nuggets can keep going down this road and have games like tonight. As encouraging as the comeback was, in perspective it NEVER should have taken a comeback. The Nuggets are now 13-19 and 9-8 at home. Did you ever think it would be this way>