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Video Credit: NBA

FSM Recap: Lakers vs Nuggets – Game 62 – 2023

Los Angeles Lakers (33-29) | Denver Nuggets (42-19)


It was the Lakers vs the Nuggets from the Arena on Saturday afternoon. LeBron James’ historic night was ruined after losing to the Denver Nuggets, 124-114.


Lakers vs Nuggets | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

The Los Angeles Lakers failed to overcome the immense mountain that is Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets, losing 124-114. Los Angeles dropped to 33-29. 

Despite the loss, LeBron James made history again, becoming the first member of the exclusive 40K point club. James became the first NBA player to score 40,000 points on a left-handed layup after a pretty spin move.

For me, the main thing is always the main thing, and that’s to win,” James said. “So I hate that it happened in defeat.”

James started the game nine points away from the milestone and ended with an extra 17, finishing with 26 points (12-of-20 FGs, 2-of-5 3s, 0-of-2 FTs), nine assists, and three steals.

James scored his first 10,000 points in the same number of games as it took him to go from 30,000 to 40,000: 10K points in 368 games, 10K to 20K in 358 games, 20K to 30K in 381 games, 30K to 40K in 368 games.

We always lose when it’s time to break a record,” Anthony Davis told James about how he might have to stop hitting milestones.

Davis himself had a somewhat sobering performance with just 17 points (7-of-13 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs), 11 rebounds, and three blocks. Davis ranks 11th amongst active all-time scorers with 17,289 career points.

Big performances from Austin Reaves (19 points, 14 assists), Rui Hachimura (23 points), and D’Angelo Russell (17 points) weren’t enough to lift the squad to victory.

Jokic spoiled the entire night for James and company, totaling 35 points (16-of-25 FGs, 1-of-5 3s), ten rebounds, and seven assists.

You just have to fight as hard as you can for as long as you can and hope he misses,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said of defending Jokic. “You just have to keep throwing stuff at him.”

The Nuggets as a unit were cooking, Jamal Murray (24 points, six rebounds, 11 assists), Michael Porter Jr. (25 points, ten rebounds), and Aaron Gordon (18 points, nine rebounds, five assists) all made heavy contributions in the win.


Lakers vs Nuggets First Quarter:


Lakers vs Nuggets | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

After Denver started the game 4-0, the Lakers responded with a 9-0 run to take a 9-4 lead. Los Angeles ballooned that run to 18-8. They led the Nuggets 18-12 with 6:20 left in the first quarter. They already had seven fast-break points and 10 points in the paint.

Taurean Prince started the game 1-for-4 and was a bit too involved offensively. Meanwhile, Hachimura was 3-for-3 for seven points. The Lakers kept up their hot shooting, hitting 13-of-20 so far, including 3-of-5 3s, to hold a 31-22 lead. 

Reaves had seven assists in his 11 first-period minutes, the most assists he’s had in any quarter of his career.

It was an impressive first quarter for Los Angeles, as they led 33-27. They shot 61.9 percent, scoring 18 points in the paint and seven in transition. Hachimura and Davis combined for 17 points.

Porter Jr. was 4-for-4 with three 3s after hitting two shots to start the second, getting Denver to within two.


Lakers vs Nuggets Second Quarter:


Lakers vs Nuggets | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Some excellent play from Russell had the Lakers back up 11 points, as his second 3-pointer and fifth make in seven attempts gave him a game-high 13 to make it 50-39. This was arguably his best offensive performance as a Laker against the Nuggets thus far.

Los Angeles let Jokic attack Hachimura 1-on-1, with Davis helping when he could. Jokic scored 14 points on 7 of 12 FGs but only had one assist in 13 minutes.

Hachimura had only two points in the Lakers’ loss to Denver in February, but he was up to 13 points on 6-for-7 FGs after hitting a pull-up Jumper to make it 58-47. After Denver cut the deficit to five, Los Angeles responded with a 6-0 run to stretch it back to double digits.

At halftime, the Lakers still led 66-58. Los Angeles shot 57.4 percent, including 6-of-15 from 3. However, Denver shot 53.1 percent to hang in there.


Lakers vs Nuggets Third Quarter:


Lakers vs Nuggets | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

After Davis put Los Angeles up 10 with an excellent play to start the third, the Lakers left Porter Jr. wide open in the corner, and he drilled his seventh straight shot and fourth 3. The Nuggets hit seven of their first ten shots out of halftime to draw to within two points at 75-73 at the 7:00 mark of the third period. 

Jokic had 13 straight points for Denver, including a three and a banked-in fadeaway, that had the Nuggets up 88-87 despite Hachimura’s third triple, plus a layup on the other end.

Denver outscored Los Angeles by eight in the third, leading by as many as four with 3:13 to play, but Hachimura scored the final seven points for the Lakers to tie the game at 89 with 12 minutes to play.


Lakers vs Nuggets Fourth Quarter:


Lakers vs Nuggets | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

A pair of 3s from Porter Jr. (5-for-5 from 3) and Murray (his first) put Denver up five, but James responded with seven straight points to put Los Angeles up 101-99 with 7:34 to play. However, play resumed in the Nuggets’ favor, as Murray’s layup pushed Denver’s lead back to seven, 119-112, with 1:34 left.

Los Angeles led 110-108 with 4:11 to play, and Denver scored nearly every trip to lead 121-112 with 1:00 to play, ultimately claiming the victory.


The Los Angeles Lakers will now take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, March 4th, at 7:30 pm PST. Thank you for visiting for your Las Vegas Sports news.



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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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