It was not a good showing for the Denver Nuggets on Friday night in Los Angeles as they got blown out by the Lakers 126-108. In a game that felt like Denver hand in hand — at times — the Lakers absolutely dominated the Nuggets in the second half to come away with the victory.
The real difference in the game were the benches as the Nuggets bench was outscored 58-23 as Denver’s defense struggled once again. Denver led by 1-point at halftime as the first half consisted of a game of runs. The second half was a whole different story as the Lakers were the only team going on runs, while the Nuggets were just trying to stay within striking distance.
LEBRON JAMES BROUGHT THE HOUSE DOWN pic.twitter.com/RBgh40UYhk— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) December 17, 2022
Denver was outscored 29-23 in the third quarter and 35-16 in the fourth quarter as they had no answer for LeBron James or Russell Westbrook. Anthony Davis didn't play in the second half due to a foot injury, which felt like something the Nuggets could exploit. Thomas Bryant scored 21 points filling in for Davis though and brought the Lakers some fantastic energy in the second half.
Westbrook finished with his second triple-double of the season off the bench finishing with 15 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds. James was the Lakers leading scorer with 30 points as the Nuggets had no answer of how to slow down the king.
Jokic finished as the Nuggets leading scorer with 25 points to go along with 11 rebounds and eight assists. Murray was right behind Jokic with 23 points, but something to monitor is Murray rolled his ankle on his final shot of the game and did have to sub out with just over two minutes remaining. Hopefully Murray will be good to go when the Nuggets are back in action on Sunday night at home against the Charlotte Hornets.
The Nuggets are now 17-11 on the season and are trailing the season series with the Lakers 2-1 as both losses have come in Los Angeles.