The Denver Nuggets started their second game in a row at the Staples Center with great possession in defense and a jumper from Aaron Gordon to take a quick 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Lakers. He found Nikola Jokic in the next tidy possession before Andre Drummond hit the paint through some contact. The Nuggets had several vacant possessions before Alex Caruso hit a corner three to give the Lakers the lead, which was quickly followed by a three-pointer from Kentavid Caldwell-Pope and a lead from Anthony Davis.
Gordon finally broke the team’s 1-on-2 cold spell shown on the free throw line, but Davis got two more points on the edge. PJ Dozier broke a three-pointer from the top of the key before Drummond and Jokic traded in buckets. Leaving the Lakers̵
Both sides traded gaps before Davis finally lined up, but Michael Porter Jr. hit a contested three-pointer over Drummond’s outstretched hand a few feet behind the three-point line. Porter followed a few minutes later with a block of Davis on the edge. Shaquille Harrison’s triple extended the lead to four before the Lakers’ bucket made a two-point game. It was almost four before Davis skied a block behind JaMychal Green. Coming out of a dead ball timeout, Green turned Laker’s pass into two points on the block.
Montrell Harrell got an easy two points in the match with Dosier, but Green got those points just the opposite. With the remaining 2.6, the Nuggets had a chance outside the box, but Jokic went a little out of the 3-point range. The Nuggets led by four points in the second quarter.
Javale McGee got the score in the second quarter with a fading jumper over Harrell. Ben McLamer tripled Denver’s lead by half. A few possessions later McGee threw a huge dive that put them at five. Harel received an offensive ricochet and became a two-point, 3-point line game. McGee got two more points after Harel fell. Wesley Matthews was called up for an offensive foul after jumping into Dosier, but no points were scored as both sides traded turnovers.
McGee hit a shot from the outside of the paint, giving him his fourth straight hair and eighth straight point for the Nuggets. The Lakers hit a jumper from the break, but Austin Rivers regained it with two quick points of his own. McGee fouls Davis on the edge and he transforms the game with 3 points on the line. Both sides traded empty holdings before Michael Malone called a time-out to try to get the Nuggets to look better in violation.
Nothing happened as Davis hit a long two, but Jokic erased it with a 3-point jumper. Davis was fouled on the edge, but he only went 1 of 2 on the line. Jokic had several physical possessions that did not become points. After Dosier’s pass, Gordon was rewarded for a defensive block with a huge immersion in attack. Reducing by five, KCP hit a three-pointer to bring the Lakers to two.
Facundo Campazzo made a 1-on-2 free-throw line, but the Lakers were within a step of Davis’ mark. KCP was on the line and he gave the Lakers the lead with a perfect trip. Jokic regained the lead with a hard-won line on the edge. A pass from Campazzo went the other way, and Kyle Kuzma hit a three-pointer from a corner, giving the Lakers a two-point lead. Caldwell-Pope hit two more on the line, giving the Lakers a 3-point lead. Caruso forced a loose ball that ran out of time, and they led the Nuggets 45-42 at halftime.
Campazzo scored two points to start the third quarter before Gordon blocked Davis at the other end. The two sides traded empty things before Campazzo’s theft turned into a dive for Porter in transition. Davis broke a long 3-point lead, and Denver immediately wiped it out with a mid-jumper before Porter fed Davis a kick in the transition from Campazzo’s third theft for a quarter. Jokic delivered a shot that extended Denver’s lead to four and led to a Lakers timeout.
Gordon helped Caruso and he knocked down a three-pointer to bring the Lakers to one. Joksic’s tip gave them a 3-point lead. Caruso went 1 on 2 on the line, and Jokic blocked Drummond in the cup. Jokic was called up for an offensive foul, and Caruso quickly equalized at 54 with a sharp cut to the edge. Caldwell-Pope went 1-on-2 on the line before Drummond was called in for Jokic’s foul at the other end.
Jokic went 2-on-2 to give Denver the lead, and they almost stretched the lead before both Rivers and Porter fell to the floor in the event of a transition. The Lakers knocked down a 3-point shot to take a 58-56 lead. A 6-2 run that led to six, before a 1-on-2, shown by Porter on the line, led Denver within five. Campazzo tracked down a great defensive possession with a 3-point shot from the wing to bring them to two.
Rivers went 1 on 2 on the line with a chance to equalize the game. Markieff Morris also split a couple on the charity. McGee blocked a shot, but Talen Horton-Tucker threw one over McGee’s outstretched hand almost immediately. Javale hit a free-kick, but Mark Gasol hit a corner 3-point goal to turn it into a five-point game with just under 24 seconds left in the quarter.
The Lakers got a quick two points to start the quarter before Dosier came out of the game with an obvious hip injury. A quick 5-2 jump made the Lakers climb 10, with just under 10 minutes left in the quarter. Matthews hit a triple corner kick and they worked to pick up the Nuggets as Denver called for a quick timeout. Both sides traded out-of-time gaps before Jokic hit a long pair, but Matthews hit his second straight three for a quarter.
Jokic hit another contested jumper, but the Nuggets were still 12 behind, with less than eight minutes left. Denver came in at 10, but Horton-Tucker hit a heavy jumper from the middle class area. A pass from Green ended with THT getting a foul drive to the edge and he managed to go 2-on-2, which gave the Lakers a lead of 14. Jokic went 1-on-2 on the other side. A theft from Porter resulted in two free points before Porter drained a huge 3-point that brought the Nuggets within eight.
Davis hit a pair of free throws from the line and MPJ returned them immediately with a powerful dunk. Caldwell-Pope threw the ball out of bounds, and Jokic received two points from Drummond, which brought them within six. Jokic went 2 to 2 on the line, and the Nuggets were within four after a pass from Caruso. Porter’s triple was sent off after an interesting foul called on Campazzo, but a contested ranking led Denver within two with 1:37.
After waiting for Laker, Davis missed an attempt to stretch the lead. Porter had a contested attempt to take the lead before Davis hit a 10-foot swimmer to make a four-point game with the remaining 41.8. Jokic was fouled, heading for the rim, and he went 2 on 2 on the line that Denver had within two. Horton-Tucker made the basketball gods favor him, as the ball bounced off the wild attempt to hit, and the Lakers took the lead with four with 15.1. Campazzo blocked his shot from Davis in Denver’s last possession, and Denver’s winning streak was broken when they lost 93-89.
Points: Nikola Jokic – 32
Assistants: Facundo Campazzo – 8
Bounces: Jokic – 9
Game player: Nikola Jokic 32 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, field goal 12 of 28, 1 of 4 3 points, 7 of 8 free throws