The first quarter of this game was between two men — Nikola Jokic and Anthony Davis. Both big men put up double digit points; Jokic having 10 points on 7 shots and Davis having 11 on 5. The first buckets of the game were scored by Michael Porter Jr. though, with him knocking in two straight three pointers.

Jamal Murray was getting to his spots well too; setting Nikola Jokic up for easy looks. Aaron Gordon and KCP were filling in their roles too, and overall the starters were just playing good basketball. Once they starter subbing out though, things got a bit more difficult. Bones Hyland strained his hip in pregame workouts and was ruled out. With his absence the bench lacked the shot making he typically provides. Ish Smith filled in for him, but overall the bench was silent in the first quarter and allowed the Lakers to catch up a bit. After being up 10 at one point, the Nuggets went into the second quarter up 31-26.

The second quarter started much like the first quarter ended, both teams playing fairly sloppy basketball and trading jabs. MPJ got to the charity stripe on a couple of occasions, and that served as the best offense for the Nuggets initially. The bench without Bones struggled to create quality looks and also had a good amount of miscommunications. Michael Malone called a timeout just after the 7 minute mark to put the starters back in and the Nuggets were only up by 1, with a score of 41-40.

The Nuggets started losing focus as the game went on, and found themselves down at different points of the quarter. It was never by much, but they were trading baskets back and forth with a team that they should be able to beat fairly easily. The starters closed the half poorly, but still only found themselves down by 4. Jamal Murray had a few buckets fall though, and he did look good. It was a game they could still easily come out and bring back.

The third quarter opened with Jamal Murray hitting his shots, including a ridiculous circus three pointer. Michael Porter Jr. found himself in foul trouble, so Bruce Brown replaced him. That left the offense to Jamal and Jokic two man game. It started producing good looks, and soon the Nuggets’ offense started humming.

Bruce Brown and KCP continued to show why they were perfect offseason additions. The two of them were the best defenders for the Nuggets and hit shots too. Aaron Gordon hit a couple three pointers in the quarter too. The best being a side step three over LeBron.

Unfortunately for the Nuggets, the second unit just did not have it tonight. In the stint that they had to close the third quarter was horrendous. The offense couldn’t generate any good looks and the defense couldn’t figure itself out. Ish Smith had a calf strain, so the bench lacked any creation at that point. The Lakers closed out on a 13-0 run in the quarter and were up 93-85.

The fourth quarter reintroduced us to a fact — Jamal Murray is a damn good basketball player. He had a Murray flurry to start the quarter — scoring 5 points in the first two minutes of the quarter. He kept the Nuggets within striking distance, and forced the Lakers to take an early timeout at the 10 minute mark.

After the timeout, Nikola Jokic subbed in and it was after that the Lakers started to get their reigns back. Jamal Murray had to sub out briefly due to his minute load, but the offense started getting clunkier and the defense wasn’t where it needed to be. The Lakers shot very well after not shooting well all season. It just wasn’t the Nuggets’ night. They didn’t execute, and they didn’t come to play. Lakers win 121-110.

The one bright spot you can take from this game is that Jamal Murray is looking better every game. He had 21 points tonight — his first 20 piece of the season. Everything else was pretty bad tonight. On to the next one.