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New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Nuggets- Game 43

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (21-21)  | Denver Nuggets (22-19)

 

The Los Angeles Lakers fell below .500 after suffering a 133-96 rout loss to the Denver Nuggets on the road.

 

Jokic notches 8th triple-double, Nuggets rout Lakers by 37 | theScore.com
Photo Credit: thescore.com

The Lakers entered the game badly needing a win as their standing in the Western Conference playoff grid is looking more treacherous by the day.

Los Angeles didn’t take their first lead until roughly four minutes into the game, thanks to a two-pointer by LeBron James, which was followed up by Russell Westbrook driving in a layup. The lead was short-lived as Will Barton and Jeff Green put Denver back in front with back-to-back scores.

The teams remained close throughout the majority of the first quarter, not allowing each other to get out to any more than a one-possession lead, but it was the Nuggets that were maintaining the slim lead the entire time. Late in the quarter, Denver began to open it up a little bit thanks to Bones Hyland scoring five straight points in 35 seconds. After the quarter ended, the Nuggets took a 34-29 lead into the second quarter.

The Lakers kept pace in the first two minutes of the second quarter, but the lead for the Nuggets began to grow some more thanks to hot shooting from three-point land. Davon Reed and Hyland hit threes on opposite ends of a James layup and blocked dunk. Denver reached double digits on their lead for the first time in the game, thanks to more impressive shooting from Hyland. Nikola Jokic got in on the act halfway through the quarter with a slam that extended the lead to 14. Los Angeles saw the game quickly starting to slip away early on.

Los Angeles tried to fight back towards the end of the half as the lead was cut to 10 thanks to Trevor Ariza hitting a downtown shot but was answered two possessions later by Barton’s three-pointer. The Nuggets answered each Lakers score for the rest of the quarter, and the team could not close any of the gap that was built.

The momentum showed a shift in favor of Denver throughout most of the second quarter as the half drew to a close.

 

The Lakers trailed 73-60 as the halftime break began.

 

Lakers Overwhelmed by Nuggets, Drop Third Straight | Los Angeles Lakers
Photo Credit: nba.com

The Nuggets got off to a fast start after James started the scoring for the third quarter. Aaron Gordon hit a three while Monte Morris extended the lead to 16. With around five minutes left in the quarter, the lead grew to 20 thanks to a Gordon three. It seemed evident that another third-quarter falloff by the Lakers would doom any chances of coming back.

By the end of the quarter, Denver still had a 19-point lead while Reed and Green added points in the last 80 seconds before the buzzer, extending the lead to 23 points after three quarters concluded.

The fourth quarter started even slower for Los Angeles as back-to-back threes by Green, and Zeke Nnaji jumped the lead to 29 points. The Lakers could not get anything going their way throughout most of the quarter as the lead continued to expand, with Denver leading by as many as 42 points.

With the bench now in for the Lakers, defeat was almost inevitable with some of Denver’s hot hands still on the court. In dominating fashion, the Nuggets went on to blow out the Lakers 133-96.

The loss marks three in a row for the purple and gold, almost wholly giving back all ground made up from their previous winning streak. The team sits seventh in the conference standings, only a half-game ahead of a tie for eighth between the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves.

The third quarter saw a skirmish between Gordon and Westbrook after a foul by Gordon sent Westbrook into a bit of heat. Both players ended up being separated with no further incident but were given technical fouls.

Hyland led all scores off the bench with 27 points, including six threes and ten rebounds to notch a double-double for the game. James ended with 25 points but surprisingly never spoke to the press after the game as he usually does.

 

The Lakers return home to Crypto.com Arena for a marquee matchup against the Utah Jazz on Monday night. The game will start at 7:30 and can be seen live on Spectrum SportsNet.

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– Matt Dobbs – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Matt on Twitter @RecordBowlerFSM

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